Man in China dies after drawing winning tile in mahjong game

Man in China dies after drawing winning tile in mahjong game
PHOTO: AFP

Many elderly people enjoy a game of mahjong - it keeps the mind sharp and the conversation flowing among friends.

But they may want to rethink those marathon sessions this coming Chinese New Year.

Drawing a winning tile in his game proved to be too exciting for an elderly man who collapsed and died in a teahouse in Chongqing, China on Dec 29.

He had a 'dead wall draw' where a supplemental tile drawn from the 'dead wall' completed the hand, Chinese media reported.

In a video clip circulating on Weibo, a paramedic was seen performing CPR on the man. However, he did not manage to resuscitate him and the cause of death is unclear.

And it appears that winning the game is good for the spirits but bad for the heart.

A man in Guangdong similarly died after drawing a winning hand during Chinese New Year last year. The 59-year-old was on a drip but continued with his marathon mahjong session, South China Morning Post reported.

Another 52-year-old man from Kaohsiung, Taiwan succumbed to a heart attack after a 10-hour mahjong game during the festive period in 2010. Staying up late and eating greasy food put the man - who had a history of cardiovascular disease - at risk of a heart attack, his doctor said.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, intense emotions can trigger heart attacks. A surprise event such as a mahjong game win can cause a sudden increase in heart rate and blood pressure.

It's best to take a break every two to three hours while playing the game, medical experts advise.

After all, we play mahjong to make our hearts happy and not for them to give out on us.

Also read: 67-year-old man dies from heart attack after catching prized Pokemon 'Lapras' at MBS

minlee@sph.com.sg

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