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Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is an inherited heart disease that affects 1% of the population and it mainly kills young people. It is a condition that causes thickening of the heart walls, resulting in an enlarged, dysfunctional heart. It can mimic many common diseases such as asthma, anxiety disorders, heart murmurs or a heart attack. Diagnosis is through echocardiography and usually is not positive for HCM until puberty. Treatment includes medication, implantation of a heart pacemaker/defibrillator, or a heart transplant. Lack of treatment results in sudden cardiac death; there is no cure. Prevention involves having a high index of suspicion, especially in families where a member less than 55 years of age has died suddenly due to their heart. Genetic testing can be conducted in families of sufferers.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Daily Breeze
About: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: A sudden killer in young adults
Date: 23 May 2005
Source: Daily Breeze
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