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Heart & Cardiology/mild asymetrical septal hypertrophy and running.


My echocardiogram result mentioned that I had mild asymetrical septal hypertrophy without obstruction. I am 67 and have been a regular runner for 37 years including recent half marathons. I notice that runner deaths sometimes mention hypertrophy. I got the echo done because my younger brother(age 58) died suddenly after getting off the treadmill. He only had 50% blockage so I think it was an arrythmia based on my understanding of the autopsy. Autopsy said he had had previous multiple silent heart attacks of which he was apparently unaware. My grandfather died at 69 of a sudden heart attack. Obviously, this is sometimes on my mind during my runs. My cardiologist did not tell me to stop or curtail my running and I only noticed this diagnosis after I had left his office and read the report. I know there are no guarantees but am wondering if I have reached the age where running is more of a risk for me than a benefit? Also, could all the years of running be the cause of the enlargement just as other muscles enlarge due to increased workload? It would be a hard habit to break but if it raises my risk I would try to get used to walking. What do you reccomend? Thank you for your advice.  Wayne

Hi Wayne,
Mild asymmetric septal hypertrophy is a description, not a diagnosis and doesn't suggest you have a cardiac problem. Rather look at your cardiac risks and ask for a stress test if concerned. If negative, I'd keep running!
Hope this helps,
Dr T

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