Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and competitive sports: let 'em play?

Curr Opin Cardiol. 2024 Jul 1;39(4):308-314. doi: 10.1097/HCO.0000000000001148. Epub 2024 May 10.


Purpose of review: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is one of the most common cardiovascular genetic conditions. Although most patients with HCM typically do well clinically, there is a small but real incidence of sudden cardiac death. A diagnosis of HCM was previously a reason for complete exclusion in sports, particularly competitive sports.However, many of these recommendations are based on expert consensus, and much data has been published in the last decade furthering the scientific knowledge in this area, and allowing athletes who may have been previously excluded the potential to participate in strenuous activities and competitive sports.

Recent findings: With recent publications on participation in sports with HCM, as well as an emphasis on shared decision-making, more athletes with HCM are participating in competitive sports, even at a professional level. Even contact sports in the presence of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator are no longer mutually exclusive in the current era.

Summary: Previous guidelines were likely overly restrictive for patients with HCM. Although there is a risk of sudden death that cannot be ignored, the potential for shared decision making as well as medical guidance are entering a new era in all aspects of medicine, particularly in sports participation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletes
  • Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic* / therapy
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac* / etiology
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac* / prevention & control
  • Decision Making, Shared
  • Humans
  • Sports*