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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Your Question

Is it safe for people with hemochromatosis to run a marathon?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

Is intense exercise harmful for people with hemochromatosis?

For personal exercise recommendations, we encourage you to speak with your healthcare provider. In general, the risks and benefits of intense exercise for people with hemochromatosis (HH) depends on the individual's overall health and specific HH features. Some people with HH develop heart problems (systolic and diastolic dysfunction). Capacity for aerobic exercise is compromised in these individuals. People with HH who do not have heart symptoms are thought to have similar aerobic exercise capacities compared to apparently healthy control subjects.[1]
Last updated: 5/22/2013

  • Shizukuda Y, Smith KP, Tripodi DJ, Arena R, Yau YY, Bolan CD, Waclawiw MA, Leitman SF, Rosing DR. Changes in exercise capacity in subjects with cardiac asymptomatic hereditary hemochromatosis during a follow-up after 5 yrs. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2012 May;91(5):418-24; Accessed 5/22/2013.