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Is there any research/evidence around the causes?



A close friend aged 69 recently died of a heart attack whilst out cycling. I have several other friends of a similar age who suffer with Atrial Fibrillation, mostly in their mid-late 60’s, though one friend is the same age as me (55) and has it. They are all lifelong regular cyclists.

Are cyclists more prone to heart problems than the general population or other sports people? Is there any research/evidence around the causes?

Please help

I didn’t find the right solution from the internet.

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Thank you


Highly recommend the book The Haywire Heart which goes into great detail on this topic including causes, treatments, and ways to prevent and manage. Bottom line to your question is no, but keep in mind that how well your heart performs after 60 is a function of genetics and how well you treated it before you got there.


As a long distance (centuries) cyclist at age 55 I would strongly recommend getting a full heart work up and evaluation. Have a stress test done with echo and every test possible. I found out I have HCM after an innocent ECG after randomly loosing my sight in one eye. I have had many EKGs done in my lifetime and no one found HCM until two years ago. A doctor changed my BP medicine and I went along with it (a neurologist aka jackass). Never ever trust a doctor in a evening appointment that comes to the exam looking disheveled with his shirt partially untucked. I had a massive episode SVT. Prior to that I wrote to said neurologist and asked him when and if I should be seen by a cardiologist. He wrote back the day after I was in the ER where they started my heart.
I have since been seen by a great team of cardiologist at Stanford. Life is back to normal. PM me if you want a their contact info. Unfortunately I will not name the neurologist FYI in a PM. :).


In practically every measurable parameter, those who exercise enjoy better health than those who do not. There is accumulating evidence, however, that at the extreme end, like frequent marathoners or iron distance triathletes, the benefit curve starts to drop off and more is worse. There does seem to be an increased risk of atrial fibrillation in that population.

It is just as possible that without the cycling, your friend would have died at 59 instead of 69. One can never measure added years in a single individual, but it shows up in large populations.


Hi I received an unwanted email about your personal health issues. Not sure why i am targeted with this and why your personal data is being sent to me, but this is disconcerting. I never asked to be notified about your personal health issues and never signed up for any email lists here. So besides the privacy issues on your side for me its clearly unwanted email and therefore SPAM. Additionally there is no way to remove myself from this forum and from the eHeartStudy which is a big privacy concern for me.