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Heart Disease Health Center

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Heart Disease and Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

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Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Sudden Death, and Endocarditis

A small number of people with HCM have an increased risk of sudden cardiac death. People at risk include:

  • Those who have family members who have had sudden cardiac death
  • Young people with HCM who have had several episodes of fainting
  • Those who have an abnormal blood pressure response with exercise
  • Adults who have a history of arrhythmia with a fast heart rate
  • Those with severe symptoms and poor heart function

If you have two or more risk factors for sudden cardiac death, your doctor will treat you with medications to prevent arrhythmias or with an ICD. Most people with HCM are at low risk for sudden cardiac death. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have.

How Can I Prevent Endocarditis?

People with obstructive HCM may be at increased risk for infective endocarditis, a potentially life-threatening condition. Ask your doctor if you need to take endocarditis precautions, which include:

  • Telling all your doctors and dentist you have HCM. They should prescribe antibiotics to prevent an infection before performing any procedures on you that may cause bleeding (dental, respiratory, and gastrointestinal procedures).
  • Calling your doctor if you have symptoms of an infection.
  • Taking good care of your teeth and gums.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum, MD on June 15, 2015
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