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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
Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center
Through this community outreach program, staff members of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) provide educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is not the intention of THI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided and THI urges you to visit a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your questions.
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