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Muhd Danish
VIP
from Singapore asked a question

Can I train for and participate in triathlons if I have a bicuspid aortic valve?

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Cardiology Sport Medicine Health & Fitness
I'm a 20 year old male with a bicuspid aortic valve. I have been going for annual checks and the specialist says that there are no issues. I have dreams of taking part in triathlons and the coveted ironman in the future. May I know if my heart condition will hinder me from taking part in...
DOCTOR’S ANSWER (1)

Wow - a tough one!  Three questions spring to mind

1. What does your cardiologist say?

2. What level of exercise do you currently do?

3. Have you been for an exercise test?

So for number one, your cardiologist will know how your heart is functioning - whether the echos are looking normal and so on. If there is any concern that you might be decompensating, then best to check with them.

Number 2 - what exercise do you currently do?  Triathlons take considerable training and it’s sensible to build upto this over a phased period.  Remember, you’ll need to be able to swim, cycle and then run - all of which will stress your body in different ways.  It’s good to start training early and if you develop symptoms then seek an urgent assessment.

Number 3 - there are different ways to undergo an exercise test, including on a treadmill or cycle.  The best available currently is a cardiopulmonary exercise test.  You might need to find a centre in Singapore that offers this - essentiallly if goes down to your basic physiology to see if your body can cope with the stress.

Ultimately, no body can truly say whether you will be 100% safe to take part, but we can try and make an educated guess based on a review of information from these different sources.

Hope this helps.

Bw

Dr Dinesh 

Consult Doctor
0 55 views 1 Doctors agree 11 Dec 2018
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