Running behind: Marathons may delay medical care for others

  • Apr. 12, 2017 12:30 a.m.

Marathons can be risky for hearts, but not necessarily those of the runners. A U.S. study finds that it takes longer for nearby residents to get to a hospital for heart care on race day and they’re less likely to survive.

Any event that draws a crowd and causes traffic detours, such as parades and ball games, may cause similar problems. Doctors say people should not delay getting care, and should call 911 if they think they might be having a heart attack.

The study looked at marathons in 11 U.S. cities from 2002 to 2012. Ambulance times were longer, and the risk of dying after a heart problem was higher, during those events than five weeks before or after.

The New England Journal of Medicine published the study Wednesday.

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