Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sure, Roller Coasters Can Scare You to Death

It’s rare, but it happens, according to a medical explainer column at Slate: “of 29 fatalities in roller coaster riders reported over a 10-year period, seven deaths were attributed to a cardiac cause.”

In a German study where researchers monitored the hearts of roller coaster riders, a number of interesting observations were made.

First, heartbeat rates for some riders exceeded 200 beats per minute. Half of riders continued to experience irregular heart rhythms for five minutes after the ride.

Second, maximum heart rates occurred just prior to, rather than during, big drops. It seems the anticipation is the real killer.

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.