- By Dana Sparks
Connecting Patients: Talking about hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a disease in which the heart muscle (myocardium) becomes abnormally thick (hypertrophied). The thickened heart muscle can make it harder for the heart to pump blood.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy often goes undiagnosed because many people with the disease have few, if any, symptoms and can lead normal lives with no significant problems. However, in a small number of people with HCM, the thickened heart muscle can cause shortness of breath, chest pain or problems in the heart's electrical system, resulting in life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias).
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"I was officially diagnosed with HCM about 3 years ago, however, I have been feeling the symptoms since childhood. I always felt something was wrong and have been to the cardiologist many times and they didn’t find anything until about 8 years ago, a very pronounced murmur appeared and they were looking into what was causing it."- Mayo Clinic Connect Member