Septal Myectomy Today

What’s the status of septal myectomy today? A recent review paper by an Expert Panel for the American Journal of Cardiology (Maron et al. 2022) concludes that “Surgical myectomy remains the time-honored primary treatment for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients with drug refractory limiting symptoms due to LV outflow obstruction.” One of the safest of heart procedures…

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Can HCM Patients Use Alcohol, Chocolate, & Coffee?

We hear many different claims about what HCM patients (or heart patients in general) should or shouldn’t eat and drink. This is a big topic, and for much of it, the science doesn’t have simple answers – at least not yet. But it turns out that there are some answers for three things that many people like (and many people won’t touch): wine, chocolate, and coffee.

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Updated thinking on HCM genetics

Many cats have HCM.

Since around 1990, HCM has been regarded as a disease caused entirely by single mutations in genes affecting a protein in the cardiac sarcomeres. There is no doubt that sarcomere mutations play an important role. But in the last several years, there has been a growing realization among researchers that this cannot be the entire explanation for the causes of HCM. This is because a majority of HCM patients do not appear to carry these mutations, and many people who do carry them never develop HCM. The development and inheritance of HCM are more complicated than was previously thought. However, for patients, many of the lessons previously taught about HCM genetics remain true. Current research may open the way to a much-improved understanding of HCM.

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Two new state-of-the-art reviews on HCM

An expert panel of HCM doctors published two state-of-the-art reviews in the Feb. 1, 2022 issue of Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The reviews are aimed at doctors who treat patients with HCM. But they include much information of interest to patients.

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Thanksgiving and gratitude

It’s Thanksgiving in the U.S. But we’re not going to list things we should be thankful for, or rehash the history of the holiday. Instead, let’s think about gratitude, a response to some benefit given to you by someone (or something) else. Mental attitudes have been shown to affect our health. And this seems to…

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Weight loss improves HCM patients’ heart health

Weight management is a challenge for many. Losing weight is a challenge for nearly everyone who tries it. It can be more difficult for many HCM patients because we often take drugs that slow us down. It’s also hard to study: researchers can assign different groups to different diets, but how can they tell who…

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Consequences of obesity for health in HCM patients

Weight management can make a big difference for HCM patients. That’s not just something cardiologists say to lecture you. A 2020 paper, Association of Obesity With Adverse Long-term Outcomes in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, provides some insight. This study by a group of leading HCM researchers from three countries examines the health consequences of body weight in…

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