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Healthy Balance

Heart for Endurance: A Cyclist’s Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Story

John Reynolds has always been an athlete. He grew up playing soccer and baseball and in his adult years, he picked up cycling. It was on several of those bike rides when he began to feel lethargic and out of breath. There were some days that he couldn’t finish his ride, so he would turn around and head home.

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Reynolds sought treatment at the UVA Heart and Vascular Center. He met with Robert Battle, MD, a cardiologist who serves at the director of sports cardiology. Battle had Reynolds bring his training bike into clinic to perform a stress test.

Eventually, Reynolds was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM, a condition that essentially makes the heart muscles work too hard. Often times, patients with HCM do not feel symptoms, but they may feel some chest pain, shortness of breath or dizziness. Reynolds has regular follow-up appointments with Battle and his team. Today, he is free to ride as much as he can.

Watch Reynolds’ story.

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