Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

A Common Cause of Sudden Cardiac Arrest!

An Inside Look

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is a heart condition that thickens the muscles within the heart. HCM causes the walls lining the left ventricle including the septum to thicken which can affect blood pressure and the hearts ability to process blood. In some cases HCM can cause sudden cardiac arrest. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy does not often cause symptoms and is likely to go undiagnosed.


Mostly all cases of HCM are hereditary and are caused by abnormal genes that effect the heart. It runs in families, meaning HCM is passed down to a family member with a 50/50 chance. In some cases HCM can develop because of high blood pressure and an unhealthy lifestyle.

Occurences Of HCM

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is a rare genetic disorder with under 200,000 diagnosed cases in the United States each year.


HCM can be treated with certain medications such as calcium blocking agents or other drugs that will calm heart rates. Another more permanent solution to HCM would involve surgery, including the insertion of a Cardiac Pace maker. Since HCM can cause an abnormal heart rate, a Cardiac Pacemaker would be installed to ease some of the symptoms of HCM. Unfortunately, it would not permanently fix all complications that come with the disease.

A person with HCM, even with a pace maker, is advised not to do any sort of heavy exercise. The walls of their heart are thickened so it cannot hold as much blood and may not be able to process the needed amount of blood quick enough for exercising.

Risk Factors and Symptoms

Most people with HCM do not feel symptoms and sometimes do not get diagnosed at all

Some symptoms are

- Chest Pains

- Heart murmurs or abnormal Heartbeat

- Dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath

- Inability to exercise

- Possible sudden Cardiac Arrest.


There is no way to prevent this condition because it is passed down in genes.


"Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy." Overview. N.p., 18 Feb. 2015. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.

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