Arnold Schwarzenegger has openly discussed getting regular physicals to monitor his heart after his years of steroid-taking. Some fear it has caught up with him
Ever since Arnold Schwarzenegger hit the spotlight, he has been marred with questions about his heart health.
Though he always looked fighting fit, and is now suspiciously youthful for his 70 years, the seven-time Mr Olympia winner, five-time Mr Universe and once Mr World has been open about his history with steroids while they were legal in the 70s.
He became so famed for his physique and doping that steroids colloquially earned the name ‘Arnolds’ among drug dealers. (His penchant for cigars is another factor concerning fans.)
In the years since his doping, the actor-turned-politician has openly discussed getting regular physicals to check up on his health, given what we now know about these drugs. It was a headline topic as Californians mulled whether he was fit to be governor in 2003. (He won.)
But he has also repeatedly insisted that he does not have any health problems as a result of the performance-enhancing drugs.
Yesterday’s events have brought that into question.
As it emerged that Schwarzenegger needed emergency open-heart surgery while doctors unblocked a pulmonary valve on Thursday, many took to social media questioning whether this was a consequence of body-building.
Indeed, it is not the first time he has gone under the knife to de-clog a valve: in 1997, he went to Mexico for an aortic valve replacement, which is performed for those with narrowing arteries in the heart. This week’s scheduled operation was to replace a blocked passage between the heart and the lungs.
Here, we explain what we know about the risks of body-building on the cardiovascular system and why these conditions may simply be a sign of the veteran actor’s old age.