When lifting weights, keep your heart in mind

     
   

Many fitness buffs favor strenuous weight lifting to sculpt their bodies into Michelangelesque forms. A new Yale study suggests that for some individuals this intense physical exertion could be deadly.

Since reporting in 2003 on a disquieting link between weight lifting and tearing of the aorta in five individuals, John A. Elefteriades, M.D., professor of surgery, and colleagues have identified 31 individuals who experienced an internal aortic tearing, or “dissection,” following heavy lifting. Most were younger than age 50, in good health, and had no prior history of cardiac disease. A third of these individuals died.

In the July issue of Cardiology, the team notes that nearly all of the individuals who experienced tearing had unknowingly been living with an abnormally enlarged aorta, a condition that occurs in hundreds of thousands of American men.

The authors suggest that a spike in blood pressure caused by heavy lifting may rip the arterial wall in individuals with an undiagnosed enlargement, and they urge those planning to pump serious iron to be screened for aortic enlargement.


 

Other Advances


How cold sore viruses play hide-and-seek

Cold sores, which are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), usually heal fairly quickly. But...

Read more...


Nicotine’s addictive grip on the brain

Smokers find it enormously difficult to quit: of those who try, only about 10 percent successfully...

Read more...


An early start on the road to reason

The cerebral cortex, a layer of cells just a few millimeters thick on the outermost surface of the...

Read more...