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Can hypertrophic cardiomyopathy be prevented?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) itself is an inherited disease, so it's not preventable. However, troubling symptoms and complications of HCM, such as shortness of breath, fainting spells, and irregular heartbeat, are almost always preventable with early diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis also lets doctors know if someone is at a higher risk of experiencing the most severe complication of HCM - sudden cardiac death - and thus utilize treatment accordingly.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a condition in which the heart muscle becomes thickened and enlarged, possibly interfering with blood flow and leading to heart failure or sudden death.
Unfortunately, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is inherited and cannot be prevented, but early detection is the key to avoiding complications and facilitating treatment. People with HCM should avoid intense exercise and competitive sports. Some patients can participate in low-intensity sports and exercise, but it is best to speak with your cardiologist beforehand for recommendations.
 
Practicing overall heart-healthy habits may also help to manage HCM, and may be particularly useful when undergoing treatment. Here are several tips:
  • Maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet
  • Limit alcohol intake or abstain from drinking altogether
  • Don’t start smoking and, if you do smoke, quit
  • Manage stress
Based on your unique medical history, risk factors, symptoms, and lifestyle, your doctor will work with you to determine the best treatment option for you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.