A young person’s sudden cardiac death (SCD) is a rare but terrible occurrence. The influence is enormous, especially in the present era of widespread media coverage and social media awareness. HCM, or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, has long been thought to be the most common cause of SCD in athletes under the age of 35. Pathological hypertrophy of the left ventricle can mirror natural left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) in response to exercise, making a diagnosis of HCM difficult in athletes.
Who is at risk for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)-related sudden cardiac death?
- People who have a history of sudden cardiac death in their family.
- Young people who have fainted several times (syncope).
- People who exercise and have an abnormal blood pressure response.
- People who have had an excessively high heart rate in the past (arrhythmia).
- People who have significant symptoms and have a weak heart.
What are the symptoms?
- Pain in the chest, especially during exercise.
- Fainting, particularly during or immediately following activity or effort.
- A doctor may identify a cardiac murmur by listening to your heart.
- Heartbeats that are fast, fluttering, or pounding.
- Shortness of breath, especially during exercise.
What are the causes?
- Genetics. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a condition that you can inherit from your parents and pass on to your offspring.
- Blood pressure that is too high.
- The cause of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is sometimes unknown.
How to optimize your heart health if you have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy?
- Limit your salt and fluid consumption. If you have heart failure symptoms, you may need to limit how much fluid and salt you drink and eat. Inquire with your healthcare professional about specific dietary recommendations, including information on alcoholic beverages and caffeine consumption.
- Use caution when exercising. Your doctor will go over workout recommendations with you. Noncompetitive aerobic activities are possible for most people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Many high-intensity activities, as well as excessive weight lifting, are not recommended by healthcare providers.
- Make follow-up appointments on a regular basis. If you have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, you should see your cardiologist on a regular basis to have your condition monitored.
- Reduce your chances of contracting an infection. If you have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, your doctor may advise you to take precautions to lower your risk of infective endocarditis.
What are the complications?
- Atrial fibrillation is a condition in which the heart beats irregularly. Heart muscle thickening, as well as aberrant heart cell structure, can produce electrical system alterations in the heart, resulting in fast or irregular heartbeats.
- Blood flow is obstructed. Many patients experience shortness of breath with exertion, chest pain, dizziness, and fainting spells as a result of their thickening heart muscle blocking blood flow exiting the heart.
- Problems with the mitral valve. The mitral valve may not close properly if the thickening heart muscle prevents blood flow leaving the heart. Blood can seep backward into the left atrium as a result, potentially exacerbating symptoms.
- Dilated cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the heart is dilated. The thickened heart muscle in a small proportion of patients with HCM may become weak and ineffective. The ventricle enlarges (dilates), and its ability to pump becomes less powerful.
- Heart failure is a serious condition. The thickening heart muscle may eventually become too stiff to fill the heart with blood properly. As a result, your heart is unable to pump enough blood to fulfill the demands of your body.
- Sudden cardiac death occurs when the heart stops beating. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can cause sudden death in people of all ages on rare occasions.
How remote patient monitoring help in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy?
Remote patient monitoring or RPM allows patients to take measurements at home using health monitoring devices and send readings to their physicians for timely diagnosis or analysis.
- Detects arrhythmias.
- Monitors health-related quality of life.
- Encourages good self-care while adhering to treatment.
- Provides detailed and timely information regarding medications and effect in controlling rhythm abnormalities.
- Provides a more accurate risk assessment on sudden cardiac death.
- Allows for tailored treatment regimen based on the present condition.
Sudden cardiac death is a consequence of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Timely and constant monitoring is important to avoid it, and this is made possible through remote patient monitoring.
Want to know more about the benefits of RPM for patients with heart diseases? Click here.