For many years, researchers have studied the effects of physical exercise on healthy people and those with cardiovascular disease. These studies have shown both groups benefit from being physically active by having a lower risk of heart attacks and living longer. The same benefits apply to adults with congenital heart disease (CHD).
Despite this evidence, a large number of adults with CHD are not physically active. Unfortunately for many of these adults, being inactive is a behavior learned from growing up with overprotective parents or fear of sudden cardiac arrest. As a cardiologist specializing in adult congenital heart disease, I encourage my patients to be physically active and participate in recreational sporting activities. Being active is good for your body, mind and social life.
If you have CHD and have questions about exercising, I encourage you to talk with your physician. Exercise counseling is an important aspect of all visits to an adult congenital heart disease program, so please ask.
For more information about the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin or to schedule a consult with a physician, call (414) 266-1608.
– Michael Earing, MD, program director of the ACHD Program at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and associate professor of Adult Cardiovascular Medicine and Pediatric Cardiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin
The ACHD Program at Children’s Hospital is the largest program of its kind in the state. Three of the less than 40 physicians nationwide trained to care for this population are physicians in our program. Our surgeons are the only board-certified congenital heart disease surgeons in Wisconsin.