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Journal Article


Kobza R, Duru F, Erne P. Pacing Clin. Electrophysiol. 2008; 31(7): 845-849.


Division of Cardiology, Cantonal Hospital, Luzern, Switzerland.


(Copyright © 2008, John Wiley and Sons)






BACKGROUND: Physicians who are caring for patients with implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) are regularly confronted with questions concerning daily activities. This study evaluates the habits of ICD patients with respect to sports activities, stays at high-altitude, and driving patterns. METHODS: A survey was performed in 387 patients with ICDs who were followed at two hospitals in Switzerland. The special-designed questionnaire addressed lifestyle practices concerning sports activity, high-altitude visits, and driving motor vehicles. RESULTS: Fifty-nine percent of ICD patients participated in some kind of sports activity; an ICD shock was experienced in 14% of these patients. Fifty-six percent of the patients reported a stay at high altitudes at least 2,000 m above the sea level; 11% of them stayed regularly above 2,500 m; 4% of these patients experienced an ICD shock during high altitude stay. Seventy-nine percent of the patients drove a motor vehicle; 2% of them experienced an ICD shock during driving, but none of them reported loss of consciousness or a traffic accident. CONCLUSION: It is accepted that ICD patients disqualify for competitive sports. However, the patients may be encouraged to continue leisure-time physical activities at low-to-moderate intensity. Staying at high altitudes and driving motor vehicles are very rarely associated with ICD shocks. Therefore, these activities that are likely to contribute to a better quality of life should not be discouraged in most ICD recipients in the absence of other medical reasons.

Language: en


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