Mountain Project Logo

AICDs and (presumably) pacemakers and climbing


Original Post
Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 549

Just ran across an update on athletes and AICDs and I remember folks asking about pacemakers. 

The article-

Safety of Sports for Athletes With Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillators

Long-Term Results of a Prospective Multinational Registry

http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/135/23/2310

updates a prior registry with longer term data.

The conclusion (emphasis mine)-

"In conclusion, in longer-term follow-up of the ICD Sports Registry, athletes with ICDs engaged in vigorous competitive sports without physical injury or failure to terminate arrhythmia, despite the occurrence of inappropriate and appropriate shocks in some. Underlying disease should be considered, in particular arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, because exercise increases disease progression and arrhythmia."

Furthermore, 

"The estimated lead survival free of definite malfunction (from implantation date) was 95% at 5 years and 89% at 10 years and free of definite plus possible malfunction was 94% at 5 years and 85% at 10 years. There were no generator malfunctions."

So maybe get after it?!

JFM · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 1,828

I havent died while climbing (or had the ICD zap me even) so thats a good thing. This bum knee, on the other hand....

mediocre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0

that's a little disheartening (no pun intended) that exercise increases the progression of the disease. I'd like to think that my cardio workouts balance my beer drinking.  

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 549
mediocre wrote:

that's a little disheartening (no pun intended) that exercise increases the progression of the disease.  

Just be sure not to catch arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. You know, off a toilet seat or something.

mediocre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0
Mark E Dixon wrote:

Just be sure not to catch arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. You know, off a toilet seat or something.

Those toilet seats get you every time. It's actually kind of interesting because I've never heard of ARVC before. Don't worry though, next time I have a little heartburn after a couple beers and chili I'll convince myself I have it.

Arlo F Niederer · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 460

I have a pacemaker that was installed 3 years ago.   I don't have arrythemia but my heart will go into bradiacardia or asystole, almost exclusively at night when  my heart slows down.  The heart center monitors the pacemaker and it paces about 6% of the time mostly at night. 

But what is funny is I was leading a very poorly protected climb in the South Platte.   They called because they said my heart was beating very rapidly and if I was OK or had any symptoms.   I asked them if it was around the time I was leading the climb, and indeed that's when my heart was beating rapidly (duh!). I haven't had any problems while climbing, other than the "normal" reaction above.   

I spent 25 days in the Wind Rivers last summer carrying 50+ pound packs at over 10,000 feet. I think any problems wouldn't be with the pacemaker, but more with the kind of disease the pacemaker was installed to correct. 

The key is to stay active and live your life to the fullest!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply

Log In to Reply