A study has revealed why death due to stopping the heart rate is higher among footballers than expected. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, states that footballers are at a higher risk of dying because their hearts stop beating.
Data for this research has been collected for more than two decades, while 11,168 young players in the UK have been used to achieve these results.
In recent years, high-profile deaths have been recorded in football due to the fact that players’ hearts have stopped beating during a game.
Cameroonian Marc-Vivien Foe unfortunately collapsed and died when he was playing for Cameroon at 28.
As a result, doctors have asked that players be given increased protection to prevent similar deaths, insisting that diseases affecting the heart muscle, cardiomyopathies, are silent killers.
The study also shows that the dangers are higher among top athletes because taxing the heart can trigger their underlying disease.
Adrenaline, electrolyte changes and dehydration increase the risk of triggering cardiac arrest.
Despite the risks, the deaths recorded during a cardiac arrest were however low for the people exercising their profession of footballer.
Previously, it was estimated that less than two out of 100,000 players die from cardiac arrest. However, recent figures suggest that seven out of every 100,000 gamblers die in cardiac arrest.
Speaking to the BBC, the cardiologist Prof. Sanjay Sharma, who led the research at St George ‘s University in London, said that although these deaths are rare among players, they are increasing every year.
” This means that we have to open our eyes to the fact that mortality rates are higher than we thought, even if they are still rare,” he said.
The study, which lasted 20 years, revealed that 42 candidates at school were in danger after being screened.
They then received treatment – including corrective surgery and heart medication – after which 30 returned to their normal careers, but others were advised to stop playing competitive sport.
In addition, eight children died during the study, six of whom were diagnosed with heart problems.
“It’s very difficult for a boy who dreamed of it and only played football at the age of eight or nine,” said Professor Sharma.
” We have to be extremely honest and say there is a risk of sudden death and the death rate is low, but we can not predict it.”
“If we ask young people to excel to entertain us and be role models for our young people, we have a duty to be protective.”