Powerlifters, we eat big, sleep big and lift big. AFter being in competitive powerlifting for a while one will make an assessment of your own physical body. Meaning if you are under 6 foot, you will probably have to get to 242lbs, which is a lot of weight for someone 5Æ‹". If you are over 6 foot, you had better be 300+ to be competetive with those leverages. This all entails eating big to gain the weight and muscle to be strong/competitive and it takes it toll on your body.
I've always felt that being among the elite in ANY sport will have negative health benefits. Some sports are harsher than others. The negative health benefits may be as small as wearing of a particular joint that is overused in a movement that occurs hundreds of a times a week, to massive stress on the heart through constant high heart rate or even the general detioration from the beating a body takes when playing rugby. And let's not forget the affect of drugs. I think most of the people in this situation realise what they are risking and do take steps to minimise the risk (just like the story someone mentioned about Coan). But some are better at managing it than others.
If anyone involved in powerlifting over eats too much or over does it on the steroid use, I would not be surprised if they end up dying of a heart attack. If you don't eat right, high colesterol can be bad for the heart. Some types of steroids cause high colesterol too, such as dianabol or anadrol-50. I certainly don't think powerlifting is going to be directly bad for people in any way, as long as they are lifting safely. People just have to know not to put bad things into their bodies. You only have one heart and you should take good care of it.
The quest to be the best...what is the price you'll pay? You only go around once in this world and it is a decision each of us makes every day...in what we do , what we eat, and how we act. Moderation is the key to longevity.
I am actually surprized that there hasn't been more high level strength athletes die... Does anybody consider the amount of stress these men put on there bodies being so large with the high blood pressure and the strain on their hearts?