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Can I resume riding horses now that I have an AICD and improved EF? 

I had an AICD (automated implantable cardioverter defibrillator) put in Dec. 13, 2011. I am 46 years old. When they put it in, my EF was 15%. The last time they checked, my EF was 35-40%. Can people with this go back to normal? I ride horses and barrel race. Should it be safe to continue to do this? I am also high strung (I get excited and nervous easy). Thank you.

submitted Delores from Texas on 11/5/2012


Patrick J. Cook, MDby Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Patrick J. Cook, MD    

Some patients can return to normal activity with an EF (ejection fraction) in that range but others cannot. Before returning to high activity levels, I'd check with the cardiologist who implanted the device, which I suspect was a bi-ventricular ICD. There's probably a good chance you could return to barrel racing. 

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Updated November 2012
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