March 21, 2019

Football fit cause heart attack, o-Emeka Nwolisa

Football fit cause heart attack, o-Emeka Nwolisa

Life sure comes with diverse packages.

Like a coin with two sides. Head you win, tail you lose.

The beautiful game of football and the eeriness, helplessness and sadness of sudden death. Two extremes. Two parallel lines and like we are told, parallel lines don’t meet. Really? In major  football competitions like the ongoing World cup, the parallel lines of football and death often meet. And Heart attack provides the bridge. The bridging that leads from joy to sorrow.

A consultant family physician died in Ebonyi state during the Nigeria/Argentina World Cup match while an Egyptian football pundit, Abdel Rahim Mohamed died after Egypt crashed out of the World Cup following a  2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia on Monday. Suspected cause of death in both cases  is heart attack.  In the course of the matches of the  World Cup emotions go from top highs to rock bottom. Gbege happens…and Heart attack takes centre stage.

A heart attack is the death of a segment of heart muscle caused by a loss of blood supply. The blood is usually cut off when an artery supplying the heart muscle is blocked by a blood clot.  Heart attacks can be sometimes fatal in the best of medical facilities. There are four warning signs listed by the American Heart Association (AHA) as being crucial signs of a heart  attack. These include:

  • discomfort, pressure, squeezing, or fullness in the chest that lasts several minutes or resolves then returns
  • pain or discomfort in the arms, neck, back
  • sudden shortness of breath
  • Cold sweat, a sick or nauseous feeling, or being lightheaded.

Watching football matches puts a lot of strain on the heart but while the relationship between  football stress and  heart attack is not yet fully explained , studies show  that while an ordinary game might not be dangerous, a heart attack  can be triggered by emotional upset caused by your team losing a major or important match.

African American man holding his chest.

Increases  in heart attack rates have  always been seen in football fans after World Cup matches. Analysis in UK and several  other European countries  have shown alarming increases in hospital admission following  world cup games especially when the country loses.

In  the United kingdom  there was a massive increase  in hospital  admissions  on account of heart attack  on the day England was eliminated from the 1998 World Cup by Argentina. Objectively , the risk incurred by watching a stressful match appears to be only a little less than experiencing an earthquake. This risk  is higher in men and  higher when the match is watched live because of the  noise in the stadium and the collective anxiety.

So bros, I love my country na good thing but if the match go cause wahala abeg keep off

If you must watch the match live and you are on treatment for a heart related illness be sure to take your drugs  in line with your doctor’s instruction.

Life no get duplicate. 

Truth be told, some lifestyle patterns increase the risk of heart attack during or following a football match. These include overwhelming stress, combined with high alcohol intake, overeating and excessive smoking during the game. Having an existing  heart disease is also a major predisposing factor. The dangerous period for football induced heart attack also seems to be in the two-hour period right after the start of the game.

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