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‚ÄčProtecting Children and Youth from Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Facts about Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

  • 1 in every 500 people has Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM).
  • HCM is the leading cause of sudden death in student athletes.
  • Of the young athletes that die from sudden cardiac death each year, 36% suffer from HCM.
  • Although primarily a genetically inherited disease.  Only ~60% of people inherit HCM.  40% of people with HCM have no family history of HCM.  HCM can not be cured.  Therefore, early detection is critical so that treatment can begin.
  •  Improved Preparticipation Physical Exams are neccessary
  • exams must include questions regarding family cardiac history
  • exams must include questions that investigte the students heart health
  • exam must include EKG and Echocardiogram for suspected HCM situation.
  • Educate parents, students, and medical personnel about HCM.

Symptoms of HCM

  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting, especially during exercise
  • Heart failure (in some patients)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Light-headedness, especially after activity or exercise
  • Sensation of feeling the heart beat (palpitations)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Other symptoms that may occur are:
  • Fatigue, reduced activity tolerance
  • Shortness of breath when lying down


Some patients have no symptoms. They may not even realize they have the condition until it is found during a routine medical exam.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) - is the second most common type of cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease) and results in excessive thickening of the heart walls, usually on the left side.  The thickened heart muscle can block blood flow out of the heart and can increase the risk of ventricular fibrillation.  In over half of the cases, this heart disorder is hereditary.  HCM is the most common cause for sudden cardiac death in athletes in the United States

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PO Box 4860 Wilmington, DE 19808

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy