Sports & Exercise

In one study of 130 LQTS competitive athletes, only 1 had an LQTS-triggered event while playing.

Editorial: Toward a Long and Happy Life of a Patient With Genetic Heart Disease

Shared Decision: New Guidelines for Athletes – 2021

When considering non-competitive sports:

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If the person is asymptomatic and taking beta blockers..

it is fine for her/him to participate in non-competitive sports, PE classes, play, and recreational activities in moderation. However, if palpitations, light-headedness, weakness and/or blurry vision occur, the exercise or activity should immediately stop to prevent progression of symptoms. Adult supervisors need to be aware that the patient should never be pressured to perform and needs to feel free to stop whenever he/she thinks it’s necessary.

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If the person is symptomatic and not taking beta blockers...

he/she should not engage in physical activity or circumstances that produce intense emotional or physical stress. Greater physical restriction should continue until black outs stop and/or the person is successfully treated with beta blocker medication.

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All LQTS patients...

should always be accompanied or supervised during physical activity. We recommend developing a “buddy” system. Buddies need to be informed about LQTS and the potential dangers. They should be instructed to call for help, including 911, if a blackout occurs. We highly recommend that buddies and all family members learn CPR in order to provide immediate resuscitation if necessary. You should be particularly concerned about swimming. We’re not sure why, but water and LQTS don’t go well together and fainting in water is more likely. Patients are highly encouraged to have a knowledgeable “buddy” with them when swimming.

What Can Parents Do?

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Be supportive of the doctor’s recommendation. Help your child to understand that certain physical activities may be dangerous.
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Make sure your family has an AED (automatic external defibrillator) and/or your child’s school district has AED programs in their schools.
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The more we learn about LQTS, the more we realize that each patient is different from the next, and our advice must be tailored to the individual person. You should always discuss the specifics with your own doctor.