Pantani Dead

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Graham, Feb 14, 2004.

  1. Graham

    Graham Guest

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  2. Fred

    Fred Guest

  3. Ari

    Ari Guest

  4. Carl Fogel

    Carl Fogel Guest

    ari <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Graham wrote:
    > > http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/cycling/3489569.stm
    >
    > He wasn't exactly easy on his body, you have to wonder what kind of scientific performance
    > enhancing experiments he has subjected his body to.

    Dear Ari,

    Here are two links that suggest what kind of "experiments" are likely:

    http://www.procycling.com/news_main.asp?newsId=440
    http://au.cyclingnews.com/results/1999/feb99/feb1.shtml

    Both refer to the 1996-1998 studies that found iron levels suggesting EPO use in over half of 200
    professional French cyclists. They explain why iron levels would be elevated and add grim details of
    other drug-related problems.

    (The statistics are reported in a confusing fashion. One article claims 90% of the cyclists had five
    times or more the normal iron level. The other article says 60% of the riders had biological
    disorders, with 90% of this group showing high iron levels. Possibly someone who can read statistics
    in French will track down the original article.)

    Carl Fogel
     
  5. ari-<< He wasn't exactly easy on his body, you have to wonder what kind of scientific performance
    enhancing experiments he has subjected his body to.
    >><BR><BR>

    A 21 yr old under 23 rider dies the same day..heart failure.

    BUT Marco had many demons, not the least of which was depression. Depression can be as deadly as any
    other severe medical condition. Hopefully this troubled young man is now at peace...

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  6. John Everett

    John Everett Guest

  7. Tim McNamara

    Tim McNamara Guest

    [email protected] (Qui si parla Campagnolo) writes:

    > ari-<< He wasn't exactly easy on his body, you have to wonder what kind of scientific performance
    > enhancing experiments he has subjected his body to.
    >>><BR><BR>
    >
    > A 21 yr old under 23 rider dies the same day..heart failure.
    >
    > BUT Marco had many demons, not the least of which was depression. Depression can be as deadly as
    > any other severe medical condition. Hopefully this troubled young man is now at peace...

    Sport, being competitive by nature, has a brutal side that each competitor must cope with. Cycling
    seems to be very hard on riders, ISTR a reference that in the 1970's some worldwide health study
    found that the life expectancy of pro cyclists was well below average (like 53 years). I've never
    been able find the original data, though.

    Peter is very right, depression can be a deadly illness. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical
    Manual, 4th Ed., the lifetime risk of major depression for men is 5 to 12% and for women 10 to 25%.
    Up to 15% of individuals with severe depression will die from suicide, and death rates from all
    causes are four times higher in depressed people over the age of 55. The risk of depression
    increases in people with chronic illnesses (esp. diabetes, heart attack, stroke and cancer) and has
    been shown to reduce survival rates and complicates recovery and long term management. The average
    age of onset of depression is in the mid-20s.

    Depression is quite treatable. After one year, about 40% are completely recovered; about 20% are
    partially recovered; and about 40% still show enough symptoms to meet the diagnostic criteria for
    depression (so relatively little improvement). In most cases, psychotherapy and antidepressant
    medications are about equally effective (in severe cases the meds are more effective); a combination
    of the two approaches is more effective and lessens the risk of recurrent depressive episodes. Among
    the people who show no improvement from either of those approaches, electroconvulsive therapy is
    often quite effective- helping about 80% or so to reduce symptoms. I should also note that some
    research has shown that 30 minutes of exercise daily is as effective as Prozac in treating mild
    depression.

    The ultimate cause of depression is as yet unknown, Zoloft commercials notwithstanding. There seems
    to be a characteristic set of neurotransmitter changes (particularly decreased serotonin but other
    neurotransmitters may be involved) but it's not known whether this is the cause or the result of
    depression. There are also characteristic changes in thinking, but it's not known whether these are
    the cause or a result of depression. Medications cause changes in neurotransmitter availability and
    are very effective; psychotherapy causes changes in thinking patterns and is very effective. Neither
    of those is definitive proof of causation.

    Unfortunately, the recovery from depression is often long and difficult. Some people's illness is
    refractory to treatment and they remain chronically depressed. While (as I write) the specific cause
    of Pantani's death is not known nor has suicide been confirmed or ruled out, as far as I know. His
    case is neither more nor less tragic than any other, but it is more public because of his status as
    a famous athlete. Hopefully this tragedy will spur better public awareness of the dangers of
    depression, the need for effective treatment (we obviously have a long way to go in the mental
    health field to reach 100% success in treatment), and most importantly the need for access to
    treatment for all.
     
  8. Ari

    Ari Guest

  9. Andy Dingley

    Andy Dingley Guest

    On Sun, 15 Feb 2004 16:52:16 GMT, John Everett
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Sad about Marco; but let me indulge my curmudgeonly side and ask what this has to do with
    >techical issues?

    In the absence or rec.bikes.drugs, it's a technical issue.

    I'm very sorry to hear this news - he was definitely my favourite rider. I don't _have_ favourite
    riders - top-end road racing is a sport where the participants are turned into indistinguishable
    robots by it (it's no surprise that Kraftwerk are keen cyclists). This is a bad thing for the sport
    as a whole, and Pantani was one of very few who still retained any individuality.
     
  10. Tim McNamara

    Tim McNamara Guest

    Andy Dingley <[email protected]> writes:

    > On Sun, 15 Feb 2004 16:52:16 GMT, John Everett <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>Sad about Marco; but let me indulge my curmudgeonly side and ask what this has to do with
    >>techical issues?
    >
    > In the absence or rec.bikes.drugs, it's a technical issue.

    It's a sport issue.

    > I'm very sorry to hear this news - he was definitely my favourite rider. I don't _have_ favourite
    > riders - top-end road racing is a sport where the participants are turned into indistinguishable
    > robots by it (it's no surprise that Kraftwerk are keen cyclists). This is a bad thing for the
    > sport as a whole, and Pantani was one of very few who still retained any individuality.

    Then perhaps this should be discussed in rec.bicycles.racing rather than r.b.tech.
     
  11. Carl Fogel

    Carl Fogel Guest

    Tim McNamara <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    [snip]

    > ISTR a reference that in the 1970's some worldwide health study found that the life expectancy
    > of pro cyclists was well below average (like 53 years). I've never been able find the original
    > data, though.
    >

    [snip]

    Dear Tim,

    Possibly this article mentions the study that you have in mind?

    http://www.procycling.com/news_main.asp?newsId=256

    It might be hard to find because it was French. It sounds as if it was a study of post-war Tour de
    France riders.

    I'm curious whether such studies connect the wide-spread drug use in professional bicycling with
    shortened life-spans.

    Carl Fogel
     
  12. Andy Dingley <[email protected]> wrote:
    : I'm very sorry to hear this news - he was definitely my favourite rider. I don't _have_ favourite
    : riders - top-end road racing is a sport where the participants are turned into indistinguishable
    : robots by it (it's no surprise that Kraftwerk are keen cyclists). This is a bad thing for the
    : sport as a whole, and Pantani was one of very few who still retained any individuality.

    try Graeme Obree.

    mostly i'm posting to register my .. hey, i LIKE kraftwerk. at least they were pioneering.
    --
    david reuteler [email protected]
     
  13. Tim McNamara

    Tim McNamara Guest

    [email protected] (Carl Fogel) writes:

    > Tim McNamara <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    > [snip]
    >
    >> ISTR a reference that in the 1970's some worldwide health study found that the life expectancy of
    >> pro cyclists was well below average (like 53 years). I've never been able find the original data,
    >> though.
    >
    > [snip]
    >
    > Dear Tim,
    >
    > Possibly this article mentions the study that you have in mind?
    >
    > http://www.procycling.com/news_main.asp?newsId=256
    >
    > It might be hard to find because it was French. It sounds as if it was a study of post-war Tour de
    > France riders.

    Well, this is much newer than the cite I saw. I wish I could remember the book I read it in.

    > I'm curious whether such studies connect the wide-spread drug use in professional bicycling with
    > shortened life-spans.

    That would be an interesting question, versus just wear and tear on the organism from the extremely
    intense training and competition going on for 10 months every year- outdoors in all weathers.
     
  14. In article <[email protected]>,
    Tim McNamara <[email protected]> wrote:

    > [email protected] (Carl Fogel) writes:
    >
    > > Tim McNamara <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > >
    > > [snip]
    > >
    > >> ISTR a reference that in the 1970's some worldwide health study found that the life expectancy
    > >> of pro cyclists was well below average (like 53 years). I've never been able find the original
    > >> data, though.
    > >
    > > [snip]
    > >
    > > Dear Tim,
    > >
    > > Possibly this article mentions the study that you have in mind?
    > >
    > > http://www.procycling.com/news_main.asp?newsId=256
    > >
    > > It might be hard to find because it was French. It sounds as if it was a study of post-war Tour
    > > de France riders.
    >
    > Well, this is much newer than the cite I saw. I wish I could remember the book I read it in.
    >
    > > I'm curious whether such studies connect the wide-spread drug use in professional bicycling with
    > > shortened life-spans.
    >
    > That would be an interesting question, versus just wear and tear on the organism from the
    > extremely intense training and competition going on for 10 months every year- outdoors in all
    > weathers.

    I would be surprised if that was so. The kind of things cyclists do to their bodies just aren't that
    abusive: you don't hear of runners suffering short lifespans, just shin splints. Similarly, soccer
    stars don't routinely drop dead, either.

    Cycling is a no-impact sport, so possibly issue related to the lack of bone-density buildup come
    into play (do a lot of old cyclists die of complications from broken hips?)

    If you're looking recently, there were a disturbing number of young cyclists for a while who died in
    their sleep of heart troubles. This is widely assumed to have been the result of EPO abuse, but
    sometimes young athletes in all kinds of sports just drop dead, thanks to an undiagnosed heart
    ailment or something similar.

    It even happens to actors. Just ask John Ritter,
    --
    Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
     
  15. Carl Fogel <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Tim McNamara <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > > ISTR a reference that in the 1970's some worldwide health study found that the life expectancy
    > > of pro cyclists was well below average (like 53 years). I've never been able find the original
    > > data, though.

    > http://www.procycling.com/news_main.asp?newsId=256

    > It might be hard to find because it was French. It sounds as if it was a study of post-war Tour de
    > France riders.

    > I'm curious whether such studies connect the wide-spread drug use in professional bicycling with
    > shortened life-spans.

    This topic is occasionally debated in rec.bicycles.racing. Nobody has ever given a reference to a
    trustworthy study that found that ex-pro cyclists have a short life expectancy, and there are
    several reasons why studies like the above are flawed. You can Google search rbr for "life
    expectancy" for details. Robert Chung has explained a couple of times why such studies would be
    quite hard to do right. Here's a pithy one:ttp://groups.google.com/groups?q=life+expectancy+winners+group:rec.bicycles.racing&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-
    8&scoring=r&selm=3C57EAEC.1B5C47B1%40nospam.com&rnum=3

    A couple of obvious examples: The number of pro cyclists has increased greatly over the 20th
    century (faster than the population as a whole I expect). The majority of post-war Tour de France
    cyclists are still alive. Therefore the sample of dead cyclists is biased towards people who died
    young. You can't just compare to the population as a whole without controlling for the difference
    in distributions of birthdates. (See Chung's post on the difference between longitudinal and
    cohort studies.)

    I believe that the reference remembered by Tim is either an urban legend or statistically flawed.
     
  16. Cal

    Cal Guest

    A great cyclist, a fierce competitor, but what set him apart was that he was what we in the South
    call a "character"... his social behavior an personality made him conspicuous. These are the things
    which made the media "dog" him. They made us, the fans, love him.

    He is too soon gone from here. We will remember him and, with sadness, miss him.

    Cal
     
  17. Jon-<< Sad about Marco; but let me indulge my curmudgeonly side and ask what this has to do with
    techical issues? >><BR><BR>

    Thought I was a curmudgeon...'bout bikes, afterall...

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  18. Onefred

    Onefred Guest

    "Qui si parla Campagnolo" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > ari-<< He wasn't exactly easy on his body, you have to wonder what kind of scientific performance
    > enhancing experiments he has subjected his body to.
    > >><BR><BR>
    >
    > A 21 yr old under 23 rider dies the same day..heart failure.
    >
    > BUT Marco had many demons, not the least of which was depression.
    Depression
    > can be as deadly as any other severe medical condition. Hopefully this
    troubled
    > young man is now at peace...

    Me, too. I hope Marco rests peacefully.

    I notice that reporters can not avoid mentioning his past. When reading the current news about him,
    I think it's kind to remember that NOBODY is perfect.

    Marco's parents must really be flipping out. I know I would be...

    Dave
     
  19. Onefred

    Onefred Guest

    "Carl Fogel" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > ari <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > > Graham wrote:
    > > > http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/cycling/3489569.stm
    > >
    > > He wasn't exactly easy on his body, you have to wonder what kind of scientific performance
    > > enhancing experiments he has subjected his body
    to.
    >
    > Dear Ari,
    >
    > Here are two links that suggest what kind of "experiments" are likely:
    >
    > http://www.procycling.com/news_main.asp?newsId=440
    > http://au.cyclingnews.com/results/1999/feb99/feb1.shtml
    >
    > Both refer to the 1996-1998 studies that found iron levels suggesting EPO use in over half of 200
    > professional French cyclists. They explain why iron levels would be elevated and add grim details
    > of other drug-related problems.
    >
    > (The statistics are reported in a confusing fashion. One article claims 90% of the cyclists had
    > five times or more the normal iron level. The other article says 60% of the riders had biological
    > disorders, with 90% of this group showing high iron levels. Possibly someone who can read
    > statistics in French will track down the original article.)

    Does irony help cyclists win, too?

    Dave
     
  20. Carl Fogel

    Carl Fogel Guest

    Benjamin Weiner <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Carl Fogel <[email protected]> wrote:
    > > Tim McNamara <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    > > > ISTR a reference that in the 1970's some worldwide health study found that the life expectancy
    > > > of pro cyclists was well below average (like 53 years). I've never been able find the original
    > > > data, though.
    >
    > > http://www.procycling.com/news_main.asp?newsId=256
    >
    > > It might be hard to find because it was French. It sounds as if it was a study of post-war Tour
    > > de France riders.
    >
    > > I'm curious whether such studies connect the wide-spread drug use in professional bicycling with
    > > shortened life-spans.
    >
    > This topic is occasionally debated in rec.bicycles.racing. Nobody has ever given a reference to a
    > trustworthy study that found that ex-pro cyclists have a short life expectancy, and there are
    > several reasons why studies like the above are flawed. You can Google search rbr for "life
    > expectancy" for details. Robert Chung has explained a couple of times why such studies would be
    > quite hard to do right. Here's a pithy one:p://groups.google.com/groups?q=life+expectancy+winners+group:rec.bicycles.racing&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-
    > 8&scoring=r&selm=3C57EAEC.1B5C47B1%40nospam.com&rnum=3
    >
    > A couple of obvious examples: The number of pro cyclists has increased greatly over the 20th
    > century (faster than the population as a whole I expect). The majority of post-war Tour de France
    > cyclists are still alive. Therefore the sample of dead cyclists is biased towards people who died
    > young. You can't just compare to the population as a whole without controlling for the difference
    > in distributions of birthdates. (See Chung's post on the difference between longitudinal and
    > cohort studies.)
    >
    > I believe that the reference remembered by Tim is either an urban legend or statistically flawed.

    Dear Benjamin,

    The logic behind those arguments may need more explanation.

    The number of pro cyclists may have increased (or decreased or remained the same) and may have
    changed at a different rate than the population as a whole--but how does this affect their predicted
    longevity?

    The majority of post-war Tour de France cyclists may still be alive, but then so are the majority of
    the people in the population as a whole who were born in the same year as the cyclists.

    If pro cyclists born in 1956 are dying at a significantly different rate than my high school class,
    then they're dying at a different rate.

    A proper study is certainly tricky and tedious, but but given roughly 100 to 200 pros riding in the
    post-war Tour every year for the last fifty years, it hardly seems impossible.

    My spreadsheet shows an average of 151 riders starting the Tour each year from 1946 to 2003.
    Obviously, many of the 8611 starters were duplicates, veterans riding the Tour again. But even if we
    assume an absurdly high 10-Tour average, there would be 861 riders over 57 years.

    Much of what I saw in those posts consisted of examples and counter-examples limited to Tour winners--
    a group of only 30 riders over 57 years, too small to be significant because a single occurrence may
    skew things wildly. (To cite the obvious example, testicular cancer does not strike 1 out of 30 men--
    the incidence is roughly 0.5% by the age of 75, 1 victim out of 200.)

    Life insurance companies and pension funds do this sort of thing well enough to make money at it.
    They have a fairly clear notion of the differences that you mention, so it would be interesting if
    they've done a study. Unfortunately, professional bicyclists are a very small group, so they may
    have been ignored as not being worth the trouble.

    Incidentally, professional cyclists on the Tour probably do have a lower life-expectancy than the
    population as a whole--simply because they're all men. Women are slightly more than half the
    population and live 5-7 years longer, on average, in Europe and America.

    Carl Fogel
     
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