I continue to receive questions about the deaths of 3 runners during the half marathon in Detroit this past weekend. I understand from the popular press that additional tests are needed before the autopsy reports can be finalized. More on that when additional information is available.
These deaths have stimulated a lot of discussion, though. There was an interesting article in the New York Times yesterday, entitled “Are Marathons Safe?” Some food for thought. Marathons, like any endurance sporting event, place a heavy demand on the cardiovascular system, so it shouldn’t be surprising that an occasional participant dies a sudden cardiac death. But it’s important to keep things in perspective….the risk is real but very, very small for any individual participant.
These sudden deaths in sporting events should motivate us to be more vigilant about screening for cardiovascular disease in athletes and paying attention to potential warning signs that deserve investigation.