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Outdoorsmen are Susceptible to Heart Attacks

April 23rd, 2008

I think we all know that hunters and fishermen (those not sitting on a boat fishing) are more susceptible to heart attacks. In fact, some research indicates that the rate of people who die in “hunting related endeavors” is seriously raised by heart attacks. In hunting seasons, more people will die from a heart attack than will die of gun related accidents. Ironically, I often hear the media report such incidents as if they were gun related. How often have you heard a reporter speak of a heart attack as a “hunting accident”? I know I have!

But, since we as outdoorsmen (there are higher incidents of heart attack among men than among women, at least in conjunction with the outdoor sports) are so susceptible to heart attacks, I thought I would share with you a website that I found that has to do with understanding heart attacks. You can jump over to the St. Jude’s Medical Center page dedicated to Sudden Cardiac Arrest if you want to learn more.

It is amazing to me how much progress has been made with heart health, and preventing heart attacks. I have a friend who has had an implantable cardioverter defibrillator put in his chest for some time now, and it has had a great impact on his ability to live a more normal life. In fact, he most likely would not be alive today if the device had not been implanted years ago. Unfortunately, he had a problem recently with the device, and had to undergo surgery to replace the wire leads, but he seems to have come through it pretty well, and is recovering.

I think this is an area that many outdoorsmen could make improvements. We need to identify whether we are at risk for heart attack, and try to take preventions to avoid it. I know that I could lose some weight before next hunting season to help avoid this threat (and I am trying to do it!). Other elements that may impact a person’s likelihood of heart attack include previous heart problems, smoking and strenuous labor that you may not be used to. I found a really good article over at HuntingNet.com written by Tracy Breen that addresses some of these issues. There is a really good chart, showing the increased heart rates of certain activities related to hunting in some hunters that were being monitored. I know that makes me think!

If you get a chance, check out the two videos on the St. Jude’s page, InsideCardiacArrest.com. There is some very good information available there, which will help you to evaluate yourself, and the chance you may have of succumbing to a heart attack. As is stated on the page, don’t limit yourself to the information found there…be sure and check with your own doctors!

Thanks to InsideCardiacArrest.com for helping to support this blog!

3 Responses to “Outdoorsmen are Susceptible to Heart Attacks”

  1. […] post by Kris delivered by Medtrials and […]

  2. This is a good point. A colleague of mine died of a heart attack while hunting several years ago. I’ve written about this in the past. Hunting can be more strenuous than people might think, and it is good to be sure you are healthy before you’re out in the woods by yourself.

  3. Great post! I have a friend whose father-in-law died of a heart attack, in a deer stand. It is important to stay in shape and eat healthy. And always let someone know where you will be. We all need to take care of our hearts.

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