Vigorous Exercise Not Tied to Increased Risk of Adverse Events in Rare Heart Condition
Vigorous exercise does not appear to increase the risk of death or life-threatening arrhythmia for people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), according to a study supported by NIH.
HCM is a rare, inherited disorder that causes the heart muscle to become thick and enlarged and affects 1 in 500 people worldwide. It has been associated with sudden cardiac death in young athletes and other young people. However, the study, published in JAMA Cardiology, found that people with the disease who exercise vigorously are no more likely to die or experience severe cardiac events than those who exercised moderately or not at all.
The observational study, the largest and most extensive to explore the relationship between HCM and exercise, was funded by NHLBI and questions restrictions from exercise that are often recommended for anyone who has the disease.
“Based on these data, we’re learning that we don’t need to universally restrict HCM patients from participating in vigorous exercise, something that’s so important to all of us,” said Dr. Rachel Lampert of Yale School of Medicine, one of the principal study authors and a practicing cardiologist who is an expert in arrhythmias in HCM. “Individuals with this condition should talk to a health care provider with expertise in HCM about getting back on the field, back in the pool and back on the court, if that’s what they want to do. Getting an expert evaluation is key to determining degree of risk for all HCM patients, and critical before going back to play.”