Sports & Exercise

Physical activity is an important part of staying physically and mentally healthy, but we know that for many of our SADS families exercise and sports participation brings up many questions and concerns about how to participate safely.  

We know that for many people with a SADS condition it’s safe to return to some form of physical activity. It’s important to work together with your doctor to make sure you understand your individual risk and that you are appropriately treated for your SADS condition, so that you can find a way to safely participate in physical activity that will allow you to live and thrive with your condition. 

Long QT Syndrome and Return to Play

In one study of 130 LQTS competitive athletes, only 1 had an LQTS-triggered event while playing.

Shared Decision: New Guidelines for Athletes – 2021

Editorial: Toward a Long and Happy Life of a Patient With Genetic Heart Disease

From Toward a Long and Happy Life of a Patient With Genetic Heart Disease– Etheridge and Saarel editorial on Return to Play:

These data reassure us that optimally treated athletes with a comprehensive “return-to-play” plan can compete with a low rate of adverse events.

“Patients live long lives despite their genetic arrhythmia diagnoses. Data like those provided by Tobert et al. help us understand that once evaluated, appropriately monitored, and treated, most can return to play and hopefully live long and happy lives.

Return to Play


In 1,287 athlete-years of follow-up, 15 athletes with LQTS had at least 1 nonlethal breakthrough cardiac event (BCE), translating to an RTP-BCE rate of 1.16 per 100 athlete-years.


Athletes with LQTS can safely RTP with a low risk of BCEs, after:
1) completing a comprehensive evaluation with risk stratification;
2) establishing a LQTS genotype- and phenotype – tailored treatment program; and
3) implementing a proper athlete- specific RTP plan.

What Can Parents Do?

Be supportive of the doctor’s recommendation. Help your child to understand that certain physical activities may be dangerous.
Make sure your family has an AED (automatic external defibrillator) and/or your child’s school district has AED programs in their schools.
The more we learn about LQTS, the more we realize that each patient is different from the next, and our advice must be tailored to the individual person. You should always discuss the specifics with your own doctor.