HCM is believed to be underdiagnosed as many people can live their whole lives without knowing they have it. — TNS

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: A Silent Condition of the Heart

A common but often undiagnosed condition that affects the heart is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). This genetic cardiomyopathy causes the heart muscle to become thicker than normal, putting individuals at risk of sudden cardiac death. While some people with HCM may not experience any symptoms, others may have issues such as increased heart rhythm, shortness of breath, chest pain, fainting, or dizziness.

It is crucial to seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms, especially if you have a family history of heart disease or sudden death at a young age. HCM is more common than previously thought, with data suggesting that one in 200 to 500 individuals worldwide may have the condition. However, many cases go undiagnosed or are missed, highlighting the importance of increasing awareness and education among healthcare providers.

Early diagnosis of HCM is key to improving patient outcomes and quality of life. By recognizing the signs and symptoms of this condition, healthcare teams can identify individuals at risk and provide appropriate interventions. Genetic testing is available for suspected cases of HCM, helping to rule out other potential conditions and guide treatment decisions.

Dr. Said Alsidawi, a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, emphasizes the importance of considering HCM in patients with abnormal heart sounds or relevant symptoms. By keeping this condition in mind and being proactive in diagnosis and management, healthcare providers can potentially save lives and improve patient outcomes. With advancements in surgical and medical treatments for HCM, early identification and intervention are crucial for enhancing patient survival and well-being.