Ronaldo, one of the greatest footballers of all time, had a condition that affected his heart in the prime of his career. The Brazilian striker suffered a heart attack just hours before the 1998 World Cup final against France, leaving the world stunned and sending shockwaves throughout the football community. The incident raised awareness about the importance of heart health among athletes and sparked a debate about the risks associated with playing high-intensity sports.
So, what exactly was Ronaldo’s heart condition?
Ronaldo suffered from a rare heart condition called “arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia” (ARVD). It is a genetic disorder that causes a portion of the heart muscle to die and be replaced by fibrous tissue, which can disrupt the normal rhythm of the heartbeat. ARVD can lead to abnormal heart rhythms, which can be fatal if left untreated. The condition can affect both men and women, and its symptoms often begin to show up in young adults.
ARVD is often asymptomatic, which means that people who have it may not experience any symptoms until a heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest occurs. Common symptoms of ARVD include palpitations, dizziness, fainting, and chest pain, but these symptoms are often mild and can be easily confused with other less serious conditions.
In Ronaldo’s case, his condition was not diagnosed until after his heart attack in 1998. Following the incident, he underwent extensive medical testing, including an electrocardiogram (ECG), a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, and a 24-hour Holter monitor to track his heart’s activity. The tests revealed that he had ARVD, and he underwent surgery to correct the condition.
Fortunately, Ronaldo’s surgery was a success, and he was able to return to football just six months later. However, the incident had a significant impact on his career, and he would later reveal that he struggled with anxiety and fear after his heart attack.
In conclusion, Ronaldo’s heart condition was a rare genetic disorder called ARVD, which caused a portion of his heart muscle to die and be replaced by fibrous tissue, leading to abnormal heart rhythms. The condition is often asymptomatic and can be fatal if left untreated. Ronaldo’s story is an important reminder of the risks associated with high-intensity sports and the importance of regular health checkups, especially if you have a family history of heart disease.