Exploring the Role of Genetics in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
, 2022-10-06 08:00:00,
Genes can play a big role in both your overall health and your risk of inheriting certain diseases. As the scientific community has learned more about the role of genetics in diseases over the past two decades, knowing your family medical history is becoming increasingly important. Case in point— a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (more frequently referred to as HCM). HCM is estimated to affect approximately between 1 in every 500 people and 1 in 200 people and is also the most common genetic heart condition—despite this, many people with the disease don’t even know they have it.*,,
What is HCM?
In someone with HCM, the walls of the heart become thicker than they should be, making it difficult for the heart to efficiently pump oxygenated blood throughout the body. This means that a heart affected by HCM has to work harder, so those with HCM can experience a lack of energy, a rapid heartbeat, chest pain, shortness of breath or other symptoms, especially in the context of physical activity.
Recognizing the symptoms of HCM is important in getting an early and accurate diagnosis. Historically, HCM has been hard to diagnose since patients can have mild, nonspecific symptoms, symptoms that mimic other conditions, and in some case, no symptoms at all. Possible symptoms that signal HCM can include shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, or heart palpitations. These are also common symptoms of asthma, high blood pressure, and more. Only a…
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