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Heart Rate: Surprise, surprise, it goes up when you're on a rollercoaster
About the author: 
WDDTY Team

It's taken a team of five eminent scientists to tell us what we would never have imagined - the hairy, scary rollercoaster rides at funfairs make the heart beat faster

It's taken a team of five eminent scientists to tell us what we would never have imagined - the hairy, scary rollercoaster rides at funfairs make the heart beat faster.

The scientists, all from University Hospital of Mannheim in Germany, made this extraordinary discovery after they monitored the heart rates of 54 participants before and after the ride.

To nobody's great surprise, everyone's heart rate went up considerably, and this was especially so for the female participants.

There is a serious side to the research, however. In the past 10 years, seven people have died from a heart attack following a rollercoaster ride, and even in the limited study carried out by the Mannheim team, 24 of the participants experienced short-term irregular heart beats, and one experienced atrial fibrillation (irregular heart rhythm) for four seconds afterwards.

But did we need a full scientific study to tell us this? And isn't that the idea of a rollercoaster ride anyway?

(Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2007; 298: 739-41).

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