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Question
Posted by: Ava | 2011/04/05

Cardiomyopathy

My husband survived " sudden death"  and has been diagnosed with hypertropic Cardiomyopathy. He is an athlete and loves exercise. May he still exercise and what type? How do you live with this condition? He is on a beta blocker (for life). I believe this medication is tiring him out more, is there any other type of medication that could be subscribed for this condition?
Regards, Ava

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCardiologist

Hi Ava,

I'm delighted to hear your husband survived sudden cardiac death but sorry to hear he has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This is a condition which is very variable in its severity but unfortunately is sometimes the cause of sudden death during exercise, which it does by causing dangerous heart rhythms.

Unfortunately this means that athletes who survive "sudden cardiac death" due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy should no longer do strenuous exercise, even if they take a beta blocker. Equally unfortunately, beta blockers often cause tiredness, as in your husband's case, and may also have other undesirable side-effects.

There are some other drugs which are occasionally used in patients wih HCM but your husband should be guided by his cardiologist. There are also surgical treatments available for patients who have the obstructive form of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Your husband should ask his cardiologist about this, and also about the possibility of implanting a cardioverter defibrillator, a device like a pacemaker that can detect and terminate abnormal heart rhythms.

Many patients with HCM live very comfortably with the condition, depending on severity, but as mentioned strenuous exercise should be discouraged in patients with HCM who have survived sudden death.

Best wishes to you both

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1
Our users say:
Posted by: Cardiologist | 2011/04/06

Hi Ava,

I'm delighted to hear your husband survived sudden cardiac death but sorry to hear he has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This is a condition which is very variable in its severity but unfortunately is sometimes the cause of sudden death during exercise, which it does by causing dangerous heart rhythms.

Unfortunately this means that athletes who survive "sudden cardiac death" due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy should no longer do strenuous exercise, even if they take a beta blocker. Equally unfortunately, beta blockers often cause tiredness, as in your husband's case, and may also have other undesirable side-effects.

There are some other drugs which are occasionally used in patients wih HCM but your husband should be guided by his cardiologist. There are also surgical treatments available for patients who have the obstructive form of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Your husband should ask his cardiologist about this, and also about the possibility of implanting a cardioverter defibrillator, a device like a pacemaker that can detect and terminate abnormal heart rhythms.

Many patients with HCM live very comfortably with the condition, depending on severity, but as mentioned strenuous exercise should be discouraged in patients with HCM who have survived sudden death.

Best wishes to you both

Reply to Cardiologist

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