cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease)

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Exercise for child with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Postby Sam23564 on Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:29 pm

My 8 year old son was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy a year ago. He is a very fit boy and has no signs or symptoms of his condition. He has always loved playing football but on diagnosis we stopped him going to play with his football club. He still misses this and I worry about the psychological affect this is having on him. We are trying to encourage him in other sports but all his friends go to football and he misses it desperately. Would training and playing for a football club at this age be classed as competitive sports and a definite no for my son? It is basically training (a lot being skills based) once a week with small 4 sided games once a week. I know ultimately football will be a definite no but worry that at this age he could still be participating and enjoying this time with his friends. I know how important it is for him to feel involved with his friends at this age. Any advice would be very much appreciated.
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Re: Exercise for child with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Postby Nurse Amy Thompson on Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:01 pm

Hi

Telling young children like your son that they cannot play sports is hard - and I completely understand your worry. It may be that if there are certain aspects of the football class that are low-impact then your son may be able to join in - but only his cardiologist would be able to advise you on this. Things that will need to be considered include the function of his heart, and the risk of sudden collapse/ arrhythmia. In general, sports (such as football) which require training are classed as competative.

All the best
Amy
Nurse Amy Thompson
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Re: Exercise for child with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Postby Sam23564 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:45 pm

What I am trying to get into prespective is the risk of such an incident occurring at my sons age? My sons heart function is very good and he does exceptionally well during exercise tests and shows no issues on 24 hour monitor. His cardiologist has said that at his age he would probably be ok which is a hard answer to hear as a parent with the word probably being used. With hypertrophic cardiomyopathy there is always the risk of an arythmia but by how much is this increased by doing sports?

Thanks for your input.
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Re: Exercise for child with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Postby Nurse Amy Thompson on Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:29 pm

Hi

I can appreciate that 'probably' is not what you wanted to hear - but it is difficult to predict what will happen, if anything. There is a great degree of variability for people with HCM, and I am not in a position to guess. I suggest you try and speak to the cardiologist about this matter again. He really is the best person to speak to as he knows your son, and has access to his medical notes.

I would also give the Cardiomyopathy Association a call on 0800 018 1024 and speak to a specialist. (The specialist nurses and a professor from the CMA were involved in the forum, but as it finishes today it is unlikely they will see your query.)

I'm sorry I could not help you further.

Best wishes
Amy
Nurse Amy Thompson
Senior Cardiac Nurse for British Heart Foundation
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