Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy in Athletes

Athletes Are At Risk from Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Athletes dying of Sudden Cardiac Death (Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy or HCM) have sparked recent news and media attention with a growing push for athletes to receive heart screening. Usual testing does not detect HCM – many athletes have normal EKGs prior to having their fatal event.

This problem is so significant that it has attracted major media attention from ESPN, The Wall Street Journal and television broadcasts to promote public awareness and screening.

The first symptom of HCM is often sudden death due to severe arrhythmias or fatal heart rhythms.

More facts about HCM are:

  • Young athletes are at particular high risk of dying from Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.
  • HCM is linked to exertion from sports.
  • HCM is difficult to detect from normal testing.
  • Symptoms vary and often go undetected.
  • HCM is genetically passed down within families.
  • HCM affects 1 in 500 people in the U.S. or 6% of the population.
  • According to the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, 100,000 young athletes die each year from cardiovascular disorders including cardiomyopathy, as a result of participation in sports.
  • According to the CDC 5,000 – 7,000 young people die each year of Sudden Cardiac Death.

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