Learn About HCM From Emory Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Clinic

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a genetic condition that causes your heart walls to thicken. The thickened walls may block or reverse blood flow, making your heart work harder and harder to pump blood. HCM may also cause an irregular heartbeat (called an arrhythmia).

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can cause serious heart symptoms or sudden cardiac death, a life-threatening condition that requires emergency care. Young athletes have a higher risk of sudden cardiac death because they perform vigorous physical activity.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Symptoms

Often, people with HCM don’t have any symptoms until sudden cardiac death occurs. If you have HCM, symptoms may include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fatigue
  • Fainting
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Sudden cardiac death

Although hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is common (about 1 in 500 people have it), it affects each person differently. Some people have no symptoms their entire lives while others face serious risks of stroke or sudden cardiac death.

If you have symptoms or a family history of HCM, you may need an echocardiograph (ECG). Echocardiographs use ultrasound technology to look at the heart as it beats. Talk to your doctor about whether an echocardiograph is the right choice for you and your family.

How Can We Help You Today?

Need help? We will be delighted to assist you today, so please call us at 404-778-7777. We look forward to hearing from you.