Risk too great for powerlifter

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May 17, 2018 - 12:26 PM

Dear Dr. Roach: I am a 62-year-old male. My aortic valve was replaced with a Carpentier-Edwards bovine tissue valve, and my ascending aorta was replaced in 2005. My question is about competitive power-lifting.

I compete in the bench press. I lift and train with between 50 percent and 100 percent of my max lift three to four times a week. How high does blood pressure go when lifting to the max on the bench press? Does it reach dangerous levels? Is the risk of damaging the valve slight, moderate or severe? Is there a risk of developing a second aneurysm? I want to compete, and I’m willing to accept some risks. What are your thoughts? — S.M.R.

Answer: Maintaining an active lifestyle can help prevent many diseases, and it’s useful as treatment for many more. The side effects generally are small. However, there are some exceptions, and this is one of them.

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