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The Haywire Heart  By  cover art

The Haywire Heart

By: Chris Case,John Mandrola MD,Lennard Zinn
Narrated by: Steve Menasche
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2018 Chris Case, John Mandrola, and Lennard Zinn (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about The Haywire Heart

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' haywire heart' review

Having just read the 'Haywire Heart', I felt compelled to write a review. i am usually reluctant to write a review of books I have read . However, here I feel I need to write one as I have been impressed by the authors approach to the subject close to my heart.
I bought the audio book some time last year and after listening to the initial chapter , I decided I wasn't going to learn much from it for the reason I am a retired anaesthesiologist with a long career in the speciality as well as being a dedicated running enthusiast to put it mildly. I enjoyed all the benefits that fitness brings and still do. More was always better and rest was a waste, This attitude was no different to most of the case reports in the book. I too have experienced arrhythmias over a 45 year period and have been assured of their benign nature.I have been investigated comprehensively for them.
Having now read the book I have realised that I should have been more cognisant of the possible consequences of over training which I must have done for years. This one can do when youth is on one's side but it comes back to bite one on the bum when youth fades into the distant past. I needed to listen to my body from much earlier on. Rest day were seen by myself as lost days - something quite ridiculous of course in hindsight .
I am now 76 years old and track my cardiac status carefully , but it appears from the book I wasn't careful enough . I now accept gratefully the advice to rest more, and admit unashamedly that in doing so , I feel a whole lot better for it.
Two surprises I encountered in the book were that endurance athletes seem more predisposed to higher coronary calcium scores . This does not apply in my case anecdotally as mine is very low. The second surprise was that caffeine did not seem to be a causative agent in regard to arrhythmias. In my case again, stopping coffee made a big difference in the amount of flutters I experience . I never experienced Atrial flutter or fibrillation , but most of my PACs', and and PVC's diminished markedly with the abstinence of caffeine.
Bottom line- this is an excellent book for any serious endurance athlete to read. It is well presented and clearly set out. The advice can be life saving .Nobody is invincible. Anyone who loves the feeling of movement as much as I do ( by the way , reading the book I realise by definition I am addicted! ) , will benefit from its well written contents .

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Not just for athletes

As a as a paraprofessional in Cardiac Electrophysiology, I have worked with thousands of patients with the arrhythmia conditions the author thoroughly describes. The descriptions of cardiac functions are simply conveyed in layman’s terms and will serve well as personal knowledge of your own normal heart function, as well as common arrhythmias that often go along with birthdays.
The presentation confirmed my knowledge and added many pearls of knowledge and wisdom I can use in my practice to better understand and care for the patients I serve.

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Turns on the lights to a serious and most likely common issue.

Good book but just lacking for me on the science of what can be done/allowed from a training perspective if any of the heart issues do occur. What would be acceptable and seen as healthy training?

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Must read for MDs, occupational athletes etc

I've been a firefighter for 20 years. At 43 years old, I pride myself on my fitness. I run 6 minute miles and workout 5 days a week. My VO2 was 59 ml/kg/min and I was looking forward to breaking 60. Then I got SVT and A-Fib. My fitness routine was quickly shelved. I've had 2 ablations hoping to correct it. Enough about me, this book is amazing. As a paramedic, who is trained in interpreting EKGs, diagnosing arrhythmias, and treating them in the field, I found this book to be exceptional. It describes complex medical processes, in layman's terms, very effectively. If you're in the medical field, you'll enjoy this book. It will serve as a refresher and bring new insights to what you already know. If you're in the medical field, and have a heart condition, this book knock your socks off! If you're not in the medical field, you can still get through this book, you may just need to reread some stuff here and there. Regardless of your education/background, the research/science is clearly presented in an interesting manner.

For me, the ground breaking stuff is the explanation of how training, and overtraining specifically, can tax the right side of your heart, cause damage, and ultimately cause an arrhythmia. For occupational athletes like myself, this is fascinating. I define an occupational athlete as anyone who has train for their job in the same manner a competitive athlete would train for competition; police, firefighters, military, special forces, etc. You're going to train hard. Some of us of going to get side effects, relatively young, as an effect of that training. This book has strategies to reduce the risk of that happening.

I strongly recommend this book for athletes of all kind, career military, police/fire, doctors/nurses/paramedics.

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Listen, learn, and safeguard your life!!

This is a book that I purchased after reading, the article that initially appeared on Velo news.
It really caught my interest because, although, I am not a bike racer, I was an avid cyclist.
I have been riding bikes since I was 9 years old, and became a mtb and finally road bike afficionado.
For more than 25 years I rode my bike more than 250 miles every week.
Rain or shine, flats, hills or mountains, if I am not at work, I was riding.
Then 12/07/2016, I woke up at 0530 in the morning with a burning sensation on my chest and a feeling that something was wrong.
Went to the ER, and to make it short, I had a heart attack.
I was 50 years old.
I know all the non invasive tests the book described.
I know what and how a cardiac cath is done.
Thank God, my major arteries are still good and I do not need a stent yet.
But, my heart has damaged arteries already.
It was a wake up call.
For an avid cyclist or anyone, who loves the outdoors, your heart is your engine.
Once it is damage, it changes your whole life forever.
I have been to all the emotional and psychological effects of what a heart attack inflicts on a person.
I experienced, the denial, anger, rationalization and feeling scared.
Every bike ride, became an ordeal, rather than a joyful experience.
It took me, 2 years to accept and ultimately, live like a normal person again.
Listening, to this book was like a personal trip, for me, down that journey that I experienced after my heart told me, slow down my friend.
Thanks, Lenard, Chris, John, for writing, what I think, to be the best book not only on the dangers of too much exercise, but, the emotional and mental ramifications of a "haywire heart," on any person who is passionate about the outdoors.

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informative

this is an informative book for anyone who is unsure of how much exercise is enough to be healthy. The narrator is easy to listen to. I learnt that addictive and obsessive exercise behaviours is not healthy for the heart. Rest is stressed throughout the story and for good reasons. If you're an elite athlete or know of someone, This book will be an eye opener to them.

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  • Neil B.
  • 05-19-21

Where’s the pdf

I thought this was a fascinating book but there needed to be a pdf with some illustrations particularly when trying to explain some of the complex biology. This would have been way easier to follow.

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  • I. Towner
  • 10-19-18

Comprehensive and well narrated

This book is a very comprehensive appraisal of heart problems and how they relate to endurance athletes. It stops short of providing specific advice on quantity and intensity of training but provides the necessary case studies and scientific findings to help athletes make the judgement calls themselves. The narration is excellent and adds to the quality of the whole audio book.

I would recommend the book to all athletes who undertake relatively long training (think half marathon upwards) regularly, especially if you push yourself hard, not to scare you but to inform. I do not suffer from a heart condition but I am very pleased I listened to the book and hope to remain a non sufferer by taking their advice.