Can You Play Football with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy?

Hypertropic cardiomyopathy, abbreviated as HCM refers to a heart disease, in which myocardium i.e., a heart muscle becomes hypertrophied or abnormally thick. The thick heart muscles create hurdle in the ability of one’s heart in pumping blood. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy causes breathing shortness, chest pain and other problems in the electrical system of one’s heart leading to life-threatening type of abnormal heart rhythm i.e., arrhythmias. HCM comes with different types of presentations, about which medical experts call heterogeneity. Magnitude and distribution of inner layer thickening of one’s heart also varies among patients.

Can You Play Football with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy?

Can You Play Football with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy?

Now, the question comes in the mind is that whether a person suffering from HCM can involve in football or any other sport. For this, let us look on following aspects-

Statistics on HCM Patients

Approximately 30 percent of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients deal with obstruction in the flow of blood while they remain at rest. Cardiologists have referred this condition as obstructive form of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. In addition, 10 percent individuals deal with obstructions when they perform any vigorous exercise, while a few of them even experience the problem while doing minor exercises.

Symptoms and Risk Assessment

Most of the hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients do not face any symptom. However, there are a few patients experiencing symptoms whenever they involve in physical exercises. These include dizziness, chest pain, breathing shortness or palpitations. In this situation, the patients should go for initial consultation with the doctor, along with regular checkups/follow-ups.

In this way, doctors identify any symptom, capacity of doing exercise, exercise testing or performance and morphological features, revealed during the echocardiogram. Based on test results, doctors may know the relaxing and pumping functions of the patient’s heart, extent of hypertrophy and perform the necessary risk assessment.

Warning Signs for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Young Patients

If you are a young athlete suffering from the problem of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, you should make sure to check a few important warning signs before you should involve in any physical activity. These include-

  • Onset of various symptoms related to physical exercises, like chest pain and ribs pain
  • Breathing shortness severely
  • Dizziness
  • Sudden burst of your palpitation
  • Lacking recovery within a reasonable time
  • Worsening of any pre-existing symptom with physical exercise

If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned here, you should immediately stop your participation in football or any other competitive sports. In addition, you should look for immediate medical attention as well as discuss your problem with your doctor.

Competitive Sports and Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Relevant Facts

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is one of the major causes associated with sudden cardiac death among young people. Some of the hypertrophic cardiomyopathy-based sudden deaths take place based on moderate exertion or severe one. However, increase in the risk related to sudden death of an adult because of his regular participation in competitive sports or vigorous workouts are until now unknown.

Even though cardiologists have found an association in between the practicing of competitive sports and incidence of sudden death because of cardiac problems in HCM patients, they do not have any relevant data to justify the abstention from any vigorous workout avoids the occurrence of death. Irrespective of the unavailability of any relevant data, medical community and cardiologists prudently support about avoiding exposure to football or any other competitive sport for young athletes suffering from HCM. This will help in reducing the risk related to sudden death and withdrawal from athletic field may be a good treatment to cure the problem.


Cardiologists have until now are unable to get any relevant data that justify the sudden cardiac attack and death of any football or competitive sport player suffering from the problem of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. However, in order to go with the safety side, doctors often recommend hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients to avoid involving in football and competitive sports in their life.

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