Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy may develop and manifest at any age. Some may be born with the condition while others may develop it during childhood. The heart may, however, show no signs at this age. In some cases, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy may lead to a stillborn baby. Some infants with hypertrophic myopathy may develop serious complications such as heart failure. The condition is generally silent in children and adolescents who may get incidentally diagnosed when they are screened due to a family history of similar heart conditions.
It is more common for hypertrophic myopathy to develop as the person grows, presenting in the late teens or early twenties. Around half of the adults with this condition develop symptoms. The condition progresses as an increasing thickness of the heart muscles. The diagnosis may be done anytime from birth to ages 80 and beyond. The average age for the diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is around 39 years.
What is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy?
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or HCM is a medical condition that causes thickening or hypertrophy of the heart muscles (the myocardium). The heart is a muscular organ situated in the chest just behind and slightly towards the left of the breastbone. It roughly measures the size of the closed fist. The heart has four chambers. The upper two chambers are called atria (left and right atria), while the lower two chambers are called ventricles (left and right ventricles). The right atrium and right ventricle are called the right heart while the left atrium and left ventricle are called the left heart. The various chambers of the heart are separated by partitions each of which is called a septum. The flow of blood through the heart is guarded by valves.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a serious disease that affects the muscles of the heart. This leads to the thickening of the heart chambers (particularly the ventricles), stiffness of the left ventricles, and problems with the mitral valve (the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle). There are also several changes in heart cells making the cells look disorganized and irregular under the microscope. The thickening of the myocardium primarily affects the septum. This along with the thickening of the ventricles leads to the narrowing of the heart chambers. It may perturb and even obstruct the flow of blood from the left ventricle to the aorta (the large blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body). This condition is called hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy or HOCM. In non-obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the heart chambers become thickened and stiff affecting their ability to receive and pump blood, but the flow of blood is not obstructed.
What are the symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy?
The symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy may vary from person to person depending on the severity of the disease and the age at diagnosis. Some people may not have any symptoms while some may develop symptoms with time. The symptoms may include:
- Chest pain: Chest pain due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is typically felt on doing exercise or other forms of physical activity
- Shortness of breath: Patients may complain of easy fatiguability and shortness of breath on doing physical activity. They may report exercise intolerance and feeling tired even when doing a mild activity.
- Dizziness or fainting: Patients may report feeling dizzy or episodes of fainting (syncope). This may be caused by an irregular heart rhythm or a fall in blood pressure. In some patients, there may be no obvious cause of syncopal attacks or fainting episodes.
- Palpitations: This refers to a sensation of racing or pounding heartbeat
- Swelling over the body: Hypertrophic myopathy interferes with the ability of the heart to pump blood effectively. This may lead to fluid accumulation in the body causing swelling, particularly in the feet, legs, belly, and neck veins
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Camzyos (mavacamten)Camzyos (mavacamten) is a prescription medication used to treat the symptoms of obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Camzyos reduces left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and can cause heart failure due to systolic dysfunction. Camzyos may cause serious side effects including hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of your face/lips/tongue/throat, fainting, and reduced left ventricular ejection fraction from the heart. Consult your doctor before taking Camzyos if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Dilated CardiomyopathyDilated cardiomyopathy causes the heart muscles to progressively enlarge and weaken, reducing the ability of the heart to pump enough blood. Check out the center below for more medical references on heart disease, including multimedia (slideshows, images, and quizzes), related diseases, treatment, diagnosis, medications, and prevention or wellness.
Cardiomyopathy (Restrictive)Restrictive cardiomyopathy, the rarest form of cardiomyopathy, is a condition in which the walls of the lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles) are abnormally rigid and lack the flexibility to expand as the ventricles fill with blood. The pumping or systolic function of the ventricle may be normal but the diastolic function (the ability of the heart to fill with blood) is abnormal. Therefore, it is harder for the ventricles to fill with blood, and with time, the heart loses the ability to pump blood properly, leading to heart failure.
Common Medical Abbreviations & Terms
Doctors, pharmacists, and other health-care professionals use abbreviations, acronyms, and other terminology for instructions and information in regard to a patient's health condition, prescription drugs they are to take, or medical procedures that have been ordered. There is no approved this list of common medical abbreviations, acronyms, and terminology used by doctors and other health- care professionals. You can use this list of medical abbreviations and acronyms written by our doctors the next time you can't understand what is on your prescription package, blood test results, or medical procedure orders. Examples include:
- ANED: Alive no evidence of disease. The patient arrived in the ER alive with no evidence of disease.
- ARF: Acute renal (kidney) failure
- cap: Capsule.
- CPAP: Continuous positive airway pressure. A treatment for sleep apnea.
- DJD: Degenerative joint disease. Another term for osteoarthritis.
- DM: Diabetes mellitus. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- HA: Headache
- IBD: Inflammatory bowel disease. A name for two disorders of the gastrointestinal (BI) tract, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
- JT: Joint
- N/V: Nausea or vomiting.
- p.o.: By mouth. From the Latin terminology per os.
- q.i.d.: Four times daily. As in taking a medicine four times daily.
- RA: Rheumatoid arthritis
- SOB: Shortness of breath.
- T: Temperature. Temperature is recorded as part of the physical examination. It is one of the "vital signs."
Cardio Exercise: Good for More Than Your HeartYou might have guessed that cardio, or aerobic, exercise helps to strengthen your heart. But did you know it's good for your health in lots of other ways, too? Learn about the hidden benefits.
How Is Right Heart Catheterization Done?Catheterization is the process where doctors use a thin, flexible tube called a catheter to look at the heart. Right heart catheterization is performed by going into a vein.
How Serious Is Dilated Cardiomyopathy?Dilated cardiomyopathy is a serious condition because it increases the chances of life-threatening conditions, such as heart failure, irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias), and blood clots. Dilated cardiomyopathy is the most common type of cardiomyopathy. In this condition, the walls of the heart become thin and the heart gets larger.
Vyndaqel and Vyndamax (tafamidis meglumine and tafamidis)Vyndaqel (tafamidis meglumine) and Vyndamax (tafamidis) are prescription medicines used to treat adults with cardiomyopathy of wild-type or hereditary transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis (ATTR-CM) to reduce death and hospitalization related to heart problems. There were no known side effects that happened during treatment with Vyndaqel or Vyndamax in people with cardiomyopathy of transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis.
What Are the Symptoms of Myopathy?The most common symptoms of myopathy are weakness and impaired daily functions or activities, as well as muscle pain and tenderness. General signs and symptoms of myopathy include symmetric proximal muscle weakness, fatigue and malaise, motor delay, bulbar muscle dystrophy (dysfunction of the swallowing and speech muscles), myoglobinuria (dark-colored urine) and/or fever, no paresthesia (sensory impairments), atrophy and hyporeflexia, consciousness at normal levels, and Gottron papules (dermatomyositis) over the knuckles, elbows, and knees.
What Causes Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy?Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a condition in which heart muscle becomes thickened affecting its function. Causes of HCM include genetic defects. Researchers are still learning why some people with genetic changes develop the disease and others don’t. Younger people are likely to have a more severe form of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.