When Gurpreet Singh opened his eyes and realised that he was on a hospital bed, he panicked. The last thing he remembered before passing out was doing a 10km run in the Thane Half Marathon. Singh, 41, collapsed after suffering a heart attack. Luckily, a group of doctors from Dr L.H. Hiranandani Hospital was running alongside him in the marathon. Singh was given cardiopulmonary resuscitation and rushed to the hospital where he underwent angioplasty.
Though he is stable now, Singh had a hard time coming to terms with what had happened. Singh, who is vice president in a multinational bank, was physically fit and didn't have any health problems except diabetes. He used to practise running every day. “I could comfortably do 10km in 75 minutes. But at the event, I set an unrealistic target,” he says. “I wanted to cover 10km in 68 minutes. I think I pushed myself too hard.”
A sudden change in the exercise pattern could cause heart problems, says Dr Rushikesh Patil, interventional cardiologist at Dr L.H. Hiranandani Hospital in Mumbai. “Exercise causes increase in heart rate, blood pressure and blood flow across the blood vessel wall, which can rupture the plaque and cause a heart attack. This is what happened in Singh's case,” says Patil. Often, people leading a sedentary lifestyle take part in marathons. They practise at the last moment, and do not go for regular health check-ups, even if they have diabetes or high bl