Middle-aged and older men are more at risk of cardiac arrest and sudden death during triathlon races, according to a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The study was conducted to raise questions regarding athlete safety, looking at participants who had competed in U.S. triathlon races from 1985 to 2016. Scientists examined data on deaths and cardiac arrests from a variety of sources, including the US National Registry of Sudden Death in Athletes and USA Triathlon records.
A total of 135 sudden deaths, resuscitated cardiac arrests, and trauma-related deaths were found, with victims averaging at age 47. Furthermore, 85% were male, and two thirds of incidents occurred during the swimming section of a triathlon race.
Risk is said to increase significantly with age, with many of the above incidences resulting from cardiovascular abnormalities, such as atherosclerotic coronary disease or cardiomyopathy.