The emotional stress caused out of a roller coaster ride could be sufficient enough to intensify abnormal heart beats in people with cardiac disease, leading to potential life threatening complications including heart attack.
Researchers from Germany have conducted a study on 55 people (37 men and 18 women) who volunteered to take a ride. The ride involved a two-minute journey, starting with a slow rise to 62 metres above the ground, followed by a free fall, big changes in gravity and a maximum speed of 75 miles per hour. Their heart rate and blood pressure were monitored during the ride.
It was ensured that all participants were devoid of any preexisting cardiac problem. Many of the volunteers experienced dramatic increase in heart rate during the ride. Some of them experienced irregular heart beats (cardiac arrhythmia). A condition called atrial fibrillation, characterized by a rapid chaotic electrical activity in the chambers of the heart was experienced y one of the participants. The condition however resolved on its own without any medical intervention.
Even such small changes could turn out to be disastrous in patients with cardiac problems according to researchers as the rising heart rate in riders with pre-existing heart disease could result in heart attack, irregular heart rhythms and possibly sudden cardiac death.
Individuals who have a positive history of heart attack, cardiac disease or irregular heart rhythms are not ideal candidates for a roller coaster ride. It is generally advisable to consult with your family physician or cardiologist regarding your suitability for such rides.
So the next time you see a sign board adjacent to an adventurous ride in a theme park, give it a second thought, for your health is more important than the fun and excitement.