The Haywire Heart

The Haywire Heart : How Too Much Exercise Can Kill You, and What You Can Do to Protect Your Heart

4.33 (3 ratings by Goodreads)
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Too much exercise can kill you. The Haywire Heart is the first book to examine heart conditions in athletes. Intended for anyone who competes in endurance sports like cycling, triathlon, running races of all distances, and cross-country skiing, The Haywire Heart presents the evidence that going too hard or too long can damage your heart forever. You'll find what to watch out for, what to do about it, and how to protect your heart so you can enjoy the sports you love for years to come.

The Haywire Heart shares the developing research into a group of conditions known as "athlete's heart", starting with a wide-ranging look at the warning signs, symptoms, and how to recognize your potential risk. Leading cardiac electrophysiologist and masters athlete Dr. John Mandrola explores the prevention and treatment of heart conditions in athletes like arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation and flutter, tachycardia, hypertrophy, and coronary artery disease. He reviews new research about exercise intensity and duration, recovery, inflammation and calcification, and the ways athletes inflict lasting harm.

These heart problems are appearing with alarming frequency among masters athletes who are pushing their bodies harder than ever in the hope that exercise will keep them healthy and strong into their senior years. The book is complete with gripping case studies of elite and age-group athletes from journalist Chris Case-like the scary condition that nearly killed cyclist and coauthor Lennard Zinn-and includes a frank discussion of exercise addiction and the mental habits that prevent athletes from seeking medical help when they need it.

Dr. Mandrola explains why many doctors misdiagnose heart conditions in athletes and offers an invaluable guide on how to talk with your doctor about your condition and its proven treatments. He covers known heart irritants, training and rest modifications, effective medicines, and safe supplements that can reduce the likelihood of heart damage from exercise.

Heart conditions affect hardcore athletes as well as those who take up sports seeking better health and weight loss. The Haywire Heart is a groundbreaking and critically important guide to heart care for athletes. By protecting your heart now and watching for the warning signs, you can avoid crippling heart conditions and continue to exercise and compete for years to come.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 23mm | 454g
  • Boulder, United States
  • English
  • 15 Illustrations, color
  • 1937715884
  • 9781937715885
  • 39,180

Back cover copy

When it comes to exercise, there really can be too much of a good thing.

Training hard for top performance can cause wildly abnormal heart rhythms. These arrhythmias are not just frightening: They can be deadly. And they're being diagnosed in more athletes every day.

The Haywire Heart explains in detail how and why endurance exercise can cause a variety of heart arrhythmias. It lays out your chances of developing a heart condition from the sport you love, and it tells you what you can do to prevent damage and still stay active.

Real-life case studies illustrate how endurance athletes like you are confronting the problem. A frank discussion of exercise addiction will help you assess and minimize risk. You'll also find practical advice on how to discuss proven treatments with your doctor.

The Haywire Heart is a critically important guide for athletes. It will help you protect your heart now so that you can enjoy a healthy, active life for decades to come.

"A great resource."--Runner's World

"A must-read for any dedicated athlete." --Triathlete

"Anyone who does intense or long endurance training, especially over many years, should read this book."

Chris Case is a neuroscience graduate of Colgate University. His groundbreaking article "Cycling to Extremes" brought exercise-induced arrhythmia to national attention.

John Mandrola, MD, is a leading cardiac electrophysiologist and Chief Cardiology Correspondent for Medscape. He is a runner and cyclist with a heart arrhythmia.

Lennard Zinn is a best-selling author and former member of the US national cycling team whose personal story of multifocal atrial tachycardia inspired this book.
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Table of contents

List of Illustrations



1 How the Heart Works | Case Study: Gene Kay, cross-country skier | Premature ventricular complexes

2 The Athlete's Heart | Case Study: Jenni Lutze, triathlete | Premature ventricular complexes

3 Heart Attacks, Arrhythmias, and Endurance Athletes | Case Study: Micah True, ultrarunner | Undiagnosed

4 The Evidence | Case Study: Mike Endicott, cyclist and cross-country skier | Ventricular Tachycardia

5 What to Look for in Yourself | Case Study: Genevieve Halvorsen, cyclist | Atrial Fibrillation

6 Getting the News | Case Study: Mark Taylor, cyclist and mountaineer | Undiagnosed

7 Addiction to Exertion | Case Study: Dave Scott, triathlete | Atrial Flutter, Atrial Fibrillation

8 Treatment Options for Athlete Arrhythmia | Case Study: Paul Ernst, cross-country skier | Heart failure due to dilated cardiomyopathy

9 The Takeaway | Case Study: Jason Agosta, runner | Highly symptomatic paroxysmal atrial fibrillation






About the Authors
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Review quote

"A great resource to learn about warning signs, treatment options, and so on." -- Runner's World magazine

"A must-read for any dedicated athlete--it examines the symptoms to watch for, what to do about your risks, and how to protect your heart so you can (safely) enjoy sports for the rest of your life." --Triathlete magazine

"In the long term, warn the American authors of a new book, extreme exercisers could be setting themselves up for serious consequences." -- The Times

"The Haywire Heart does give one reason to pause and consider...Anyone who does intense or long endurance training, especially over many years, should read this book." --

"Zinn and fellow authors Chris Case and John Mandrola, a cardiac electrophysiologist and cyclist with atrial fibrillation, do a good job of looking at all the angles." -- Canadian Cycling magazine
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About Christopher J. Case

Chris Case is the managing editor of VeloNews, and author of "Cycling to Extremes," the groundbreaking VeloNews story that brought the problem of the athlete's heart to widespread attention.

Dr. John Mandrola is a cardiac electrophysiologist in Louisville, Kentucky, and is himself an active cyclist who had atrial fibrillation.

Lennard Zinn was a member of the U.S. national racing team and is a lifelong endurance athlete. He has reported on major stories for VeloNews for 30 years and is the author of the world's best-selling guide to bicycle maintenance and repair.
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