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  1. #1
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    Atrial Fibrilation in Older Bicyclists

    I keep running into other cyclists, usually over 55, who suffer atrial fibrillation during or right after hard (close to max heart rate) efforts. After a couple of fainting spells in the peloton and during a TT at about 30 mph mine was finally diagnosed. I was lucky enough to find an electrophysiologist at UC San Diego who performed a cardiac ablation which has almost eliminated the problem.
    I have not seen it but have heard of local cyclists fainting on fast training rides and am wondering how prevalent this condition is in older cyclists, especially those who trained hard and raced for a long time.

  2. #2
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    It's fairly common. I know 3 riders. Seems to be most common among riders who have trained very hard for many years. Don't know a rider with it who has usually taken it a little easier.

  3. #3
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    I had an atrial flutter after a 3 hr climb but after multiple tests, determined the cause was caffeine sensitivity. Stopped caffeine consumption and haven't had a recurrence. Good luck with your a-fib.
    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
    How are you ever going to live in the real world if you can't get along with people who don't believe what your do?

  4. #4
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Check out Dr. John Mandrola's blog. He's a high level amateur cyclist and an electro physiologist. He's the best in town. If you don't believe me, .......

    Anyway, the short answer is yes, it is more prevalent in older athletes. He reviews the current (no pun intended) theories.

  5. #5
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I had it 24/7 eight years ago, cured totally by an ablation by Dr. Andrea Natale, national expert. There is an EXTENSIVE thread about my experiences hiding around here somewhere.

    Yes, it is more common in athletes.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  6. #6
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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  7. #7
    Senior Member NealH's Avatar
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    Had it for 9 years then got an ablation. Best decision I ever made. The only thing worse than fainting was being in a fib. Worse feeling in the world, short of kidney stones.

    I love my lifestyle and was unwilling to compromise with medicines. The ablation was the way forward. I take no medicine today and have a normal HR. And I run it up into the low 190's on competitive rides (they are tough). No problem but I knock on wood.
    Last edited by NealH; 12-19-13 at 08:05 PM.

  8. #8
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    thanks for the recommendation. I checked out his blog and he really seems to be on top of it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    I have had orthostatic hypotension for decades (slight faintness on standing). I had a few episodes of fainting after strenuous rides (although nothing like the efforts described here) and alleviated them to a degree by dropping some meds. A cardiologist found me to be in good heart health, although maybe he just failed to see me during an episode. In any event, I have noticed that the episodes of dizziness after exercise are accompanied by a heat flash and rapid pulse which lasts for a few minutes and then subsides. Does this sound like Afib or plain old hypotension?
    Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by donheff View Post
    I have had orthostatic hypotension for decades (slight faintness on standing). I had a few episodes of fainting after strenuous rides (although nothing like the efforts described here) and alleviated them to a degree by dropping some meds. A cardiologist found me to be in good heart health, although maybe he just failed to see me during an episode. In any event, I have noticed that the episodes of dizziness after exercise are accompanied by a heat flash and rapid pulse which lasts for a few minutes and then subsides. Does this sound like Afib or plain old hypotension?
    Male menopause?

  11. #11
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post
    Male menopause?
    Hadn't thought about that.
    Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson

  12. #12
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    I've had Afib for 20+ years, but I'm able to deal with it........if I can stay away from caffeine and alcohol.
    Ride your Ride!!

  13. #13
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    My wife is currently off the bike because of it. She won't find out when she can return to riding until next month. She's not been a very happy camper but understands the importance of not riding for time being.
    HCFR Cycling Team
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  14. #14
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    Try leaving your heart rate monitor on for a while after the ride. It will show a high heart rate, possibly over 200 bpm instead of a resting rate under 100. It is probably hypotension if you don't see it during the ride.

  15. #15
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    I haven't given up 1 cup of Joe the morning of the ride. I can't function without it.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Bronze Potato's Avatar
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    Had one bout of A-fib 10 years ago they thought as caused by dehydration. Started drinking some water instead of beer for breakfast and never had a problem since. Last night was intervals on the trainer and despite the fact I almost blacked out my heart rate is fine……….
    Hills are just flats that are tipped on one end.

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