August 21st, 2007

Roller Coaster Ride

It’s been quite a roller coaster ride around here lately. Perhaps that’s why a recent research letter in JAMA caught my eye.

It’s no surprise that riding a coaster can lead to a rapid rise in heart rate. What was intriguing was that, according to the study of study of 56 men people (37 were men), the biggest change in heart rate happened while the cars were climbing. As the authors put it:

In a group of presumably healthy individuals, this modern roller coaster ride led to a pronounced rise in heart rate. The largest rate increase occurred during the ascent, where speed was low and there were no significant acceleration forces, suggesting a contributing role of emotional stress.

Emotional stress, eh? Gotta watch out for that. Scott Hensley over at the WSJ Health Blog went on to do a nice follow up to their initial post, interviewing a physician from Sandusky, Ohio, near to an amusement park I visited every summer as a kid — Cedar Point. For those of you thinking of visiting thrill parks this summer, Scott’s post includes some decent health tips.

3 Responses to “Roller Coaster Ride”

  1. Mother Jones, RN says

    My husband and I heard about that study on the radio today. Interesting stuff. I wondered why women weren’t included in the study, and my husband replied it’s because no man wants to prove that women aren’t really the weaker sex.

    Thanks for the link.


  2. Marc says

    Mother Jones,

    Yikes — looks like I made a mistake. The study included men AND women. That said, I do tend to agree with your husband! : )

  3. Leea says

    Marc —

    Get out. Get out now. While you still have a soul.

    You KNOW it’s wrong for J&J to bare its teeth and go after the Red Cross… You KNOW it’s wrong to put so much corporate money in front of help for so much human suffering.

    You can bow to your corporate bosses and half-heartedly put these half-hearted posts on the blog, but you KNOW it’s wrong.

    You can put on a glib online face and type away at your desk, but in your heart you know your hands would be put to much better use in the field in war-torn, natural disaster-ravaged countries.

    You could manning a makeshift table outside of a collapsed church in Peru, pinning up the names of missing children and missing parents hoping to reconnect after the earthquake. You could be handing out blankets in Chetumal, covering trembling young mothers as they crouch in a shelter after the last wave of the hurricane hit.

    You could be at the Red Cross outpost down the street, here in the U.S., assembling care packages for a family whose house burned down when they were already at their breaking point.

    Do more.

    BE more.

    Reclaim your soul.

    Do what you know is right. And it’s not putting up a half-hearted face for Johnson & Johnson as they suck the names off that table, the blankets out of the hands of that mother and the care package out of the reach of that family.

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