AF Association
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Interesting Article in Cycling Weekly

Sorry can't find a link but for you cyclists with AF it is worth buying this week. States much of what you might already know but gives a figure that athletes are five times more likely to develop AF. That means five to 10 athletes diagnosed for every single non athlete. This is of course for serious competitive athletes who push their body and heart very hard. Dr Ahmed Meghani a research fellow at St George's, University of London is quoted as an expert in this article on AF .amongst athletes.

6 Replies

Hi Elbows

I heard this, I think this was the man interviewed on Radio 4 was is this week or last?. He also said that if you were running marathons etc, then up to about 5 a year would not increase your risk, but much over that then you were entering the "serious competitor athlete" zone you are talking about and the risk gets much higher.

I think it's long been known that AF for long distance and super long exertion athletes like cyclists is a problem, I followed the tour year before last and I can't RUN up the mountains at the speed they cycle for hour after hour. They are astonishing athletes. (In fact I can't even sprint my bike for 500 metres at the average speed they achieve for 7 hours in the saddle) 40 kph astonishing for 3 weeks cycling.

Be well



Fighter pilots have an increased risk as well since fighting G force takes a lot out of the old red oil pump.



I wouldn't like to be a fighter pilot who cycles to keep fit :-(


I read recently that if you want to run a marathon then do it just once and tick it off your bucket list. My EP has told me no more marathons or half marathons from now on and to cap my running at 10 miles. It makes sense to me - I'd look pretty silly if I carried on doing them and the AF came back. I'm very happy to trot around the odd 10K and no more!


Although I am no athlete I do a lot of cycling.

Took it up about 3 years ago after I had been diagnosed with AF.

At first I could do 3 miles but now doing 50/60 miles a time. I have got a lot fitter from it and I am so lucky that my AF does not play up after I cycle.

I love to get out on the bike and to honest I will not let AF take over my life as I see way too much death in my line of work and life is too short.

But as I say I am one of the very lucky ones and I know that there are so many people on here not in the same situation and I really do feel for them.


As Beancounter writes, there was a related article on Radio 4 Inside Health this week. I have exercise induced atrial fibrillation interspersed with atrial flutter. For 15 years I ran 30 - 50 miles / week at 6 - 7 minute / mile pace, plus competitive Orienteering and non-competitive cycling up to 70 miles. I stopped at 45 and restarted running and the gym at 60. My AF heart rate increased up to an asymptomatic 235 bpm by the age of 67. I've had an enforced absence of exercise since May 2014 when Dronedarone was prescribed and caused pulmonary toxicity. The absence of exercise has equated to an absence of AF. However, I'm hoping to return to the gym in mid-March and it'll be interesting to see if AF returns.


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