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Development of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
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Development of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Hello,everyone,  recently someone I know (non-relative) was diagnosed with HCM. I'm just wondering, is this condition present from birth? I know it's genetic but does it suddenly start to develop at some point in your life? I'm just
curious, because she had to have a pacemaker inserted, etc. And she was asymptomatic for most of her life (she is now in her 20's). Is the gene present and then the heart starts to thicken at some point in your life, or are you born with your heart that way? Thanks for any answers! :)
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HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyology) is the enlargement fo heart.  Dilated HCM can/will result from an overworked and stressed heart.  I had a dilated HCM and medication to reduce the heart's workload (reduce blood volume, relax vessels, etc.) can reverse remodeling (remodeling is the medical term for enlrged heart).

Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM), in which the heart muscle thickens enough to obstruct the flow of blood. The surgery has been performed for almost 50 years and can dramatically improve symptoms in over 90 percent of patients. The vast majority return to a normal lifestyle with no recurrence of symptoms.

Restrictive HCM the heart muscle walls are rigid and thickened and that impedes adequate filling of the chamber and can lead to diastolic heart failure.  Some people as they age may have varying degrees of this condition as well as dilated HCM (heart begins to work a little harder pumping against narrowing vessels (calcification) as well as some calcification of the valves.

Heart healthy diet, exercise, lifestyle would help prevent calcification and high blood pressure, etc.  There may be gene component, but the risk for a heart disorder can be offset by reducing the risk factors.
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HCM is not necessarily an enlargement of the heart; it is a thickening of the walls , usually of the septal walls. Sometimes all of the walls are thickened without there being and obstruction. This is a terminal form of heart disease with transplantation the ultimate treatment. While Congestive Heart Failure is a systolic problem, HCM is a diastolic form of heart failure. This disease can be present at birth or can be totally sporadic only affecting one person in the family. People who are diagnosed as adults do much better than children who are diagnosed. Arrhythmias are a major problem with this disease, so your friend should also be seen by an EP doctor (one who specializes in the electrical problems with the heart) Restrictive Cardiomyopathy is very simular to HCM and in fact, once the thickened walls get to a certain point, the disease is basically the same as a RCM because the walls become so thick and because there is fibrous muscle that grows through the chambers, the walls can't contract properly. Angina is common once the walls grow so thick because there is a loss of blood flow to the walls; you tend to have small heart attacks. (not the same as with coronary heart disease) We have been through all of this, including a pacemaker implant and transplant with our daughter.    
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Thanks for the reply, it helped me to understand what she is going through. I hope you and your family pull through your situation. :) What we both didn't understand is whether or not the heart muscle is thickened from birth, but I think I understand now.
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Most children who are born with HCM tend to get much worse with the disease as they go through puberty because of growth hormones. We were told that if our daughter lived through childhood, that she would be in heart failure by the time she was 13 and that's exactly what happened to her. You friend may have been born with this problem, if she was, then she would more than likely have an increase in symptoms during the early teen years. Her entire family (parents and siblings) should have had this disease cleared in them as well as this disease can run in families.
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