Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)


  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a type of heart muscle condition where the heart muscle slowly thickens and becomes more stiff. The heart can not pump as well, causing shortness of breath or difficulty exercising for some people, while others have no symptoms. Sometimes there are also heart rhythm problems or palpitations.
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is common, affecting approximately 1/500 people. It is rare before puberty.

Treatment/Standard of Care

An echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart that can measure the thickness of the heart muscle. An ECG can also show signs of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. There are some other medical conditions or exposures that can also lead to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Your doctor will likely want to order several different heart and check your blood pressure.

People with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy take medications to help improve the heart function and prevent complications. In some cases, cardiac devices are recommended.

Additional Resources

Please note: The Canadian SADS Foundation provides links to external websites for informational purposes only. While we regard these as reputable sources of information, please be aware that The Canadian SADS Foundation is not responsible for the accuracy, legality, or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links.

Nova Scotia Health

Nova Scotia Health pamphlet on Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

BC Health Link

Informational website on Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

Cardiomyopathy UK

Information for patients and families about Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy from a UK patient support group.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association (HCMA)

US based patient support group for HCM.

Pediatric and Congenital Electrophysiology Society (PACES)

Information on Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy in children, including signs and symptoms.

Hear From Patients Living With HCM

Tim's Story

Read about Tim’s journey with HCM.