Doctors say heart-pounding excitement during Royals’ games can lead to heart attacks

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Your heart has probably been pounding at times during the Royals' great run. Heart specialists say that adrenaline rush can result in heart attacks, even sudden cardiac arrest. They've seen it.

George Brett's heart was apparently pounding and his pulse was racing during the pennant-winning game. Dr. Tracy Stevens had this reaction to the camera shot of Brett checking his pulse.

"I'm sure George is taking great care of his heart, but do not delay seeking help," said Dr. Stevens.

The heart specialist at Saint Luke's Hospital has seen a higher number of heart attacks occurring during high-stakes Royals' games. She recalls one near-tragedy during last year's post-season run.

"We even had a gentleman have sudden death that fortunately we were able to resuscitate," she said.

Most of our hearts can take that adrenaline high.

"It was non-stop stress and I loved every minute of it," said one fan after game one of the World Series.

But let's say you have plaque in your arteries that's formed for reasons such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. With the adrenaline, the plaque becomes inflamed. Dr. Stevens compares it to a pimple.

"It pops and when you have plaque that pops, your body sees that as a cut and wants to form a clot," she said.

And that clot causes a heart attack. It can also happen with heavy eating and/or drinking during the games.

"All of this creates inflammation that makes our plaque rupture," said Dr. Stevens.

So watch your intake. The doctor says if you have symptoms such as chest pain, don't think it's just excitement or indigestion. Get help quickly so you can live to see another great game.

Dr. Stevens says all the sitting while watching games isn't good for us either. She says make it a habit to get up and walk around between half innings.

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