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Are the current guidelines for performing sports with an ICD too restrictive?

March 2016 Br J Cardiol 2016;23:16–20 doi:10.5837/bjc.2016.008

Are the current guidelines for performing sports with an ICD too restrictive?

Theresia A M Backhuijs, Hilde Joosten, Pieter Zanen, Hendrik M Nathoe, Mathias Meine, Pieter A Doevendans, Frank J G Backx, Rienk Rienks

Abstract

Introduction An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is used for primary and secondary prophylaxis in the treatment of life-threatening arrhythmia. Guidelines for ICD patients, originally published in 2005, advise against any competitive sports more vigorous than ‘Class IA’ activities such as bowling or golf.1 American College of Cardiology (ACC)/American Heart Association (AHA)/European Society of Cardiology (ESC) embraced this advice stating “for legal and ethical reasons athletes receiving cardiovascular drugs and devices such as pacemakers and ICDs are generally not allowed to participate in high-grade competition.”2 For

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