Heart & Cardiology/Why?

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Doctor
A friend of mine just passes from a heart attack while playing hockey. He was 59, in good shape, no previous conditions as far as I know. He had played all his life.
A few years back another friend also suffered a minor attack on the ice-he still plays.
In case you dont know, hockey, unlike soccer, baseball, is five minutes of intensity followed by five minutes of catching your breath. There are often two or more games a week, very early or very late in the day.
I am 55, overweight, with hypertension. I hung up my skates three years ago. Do you think thereis a point when a guy, even if he is fit like my buddy, should retire. And just what do you think happened to him?

Answer
Your friend did not suddenly develop heart disease at the moment of his heart attack. Ask your doctor about a 64 slice CT to assess for coronary Ca++ ( and therefore coronary disease). In the absence of problems on periodic thorough check-ups there should be no limit as to how long someone can play hockey. Good luck!!!
         Dr. P

Heart & Cardiology

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Frank J. Pearl, M.D.

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Voluntary Professor of Medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL. Board certified in cardiovascular disease

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