Patient Education Committee Update

The Patient Education Committee has been busy in recent months! Some of the projects we’re working on or planning include: Caregiver education: We will develop guides to help family members, and friends know when patients need help and what steps (emergency room, call the doctor, additional medications) to take if they do. Decision making: There…

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Problems with generic metoprolol

All generic drugs are not equal.

Many HCM patients have issues with metoprolol, the beta-blocker most widely prescribed for HCM. There may be multiple reasons for this, but a key one has been known for some time: many generic formulations of metoprolol succinate have time-release mechanisms that do not work in a similar fashion to the brand-name Toprol XL.

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The Holidays Can Be Healthy For Your Heart

Thanksgiving dinner

We’ve all had the experience: holidays can mean eating too much (much of which isn’t good for you), drinking too much, and getting no exercise. It doesn’t have to be like that! A new article in Cardiology Magazine (published by the American College of Cardiologists) suggests a strategy for heart-healthy holidays. There are strategies for…

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HCM and Mental Health

Learning that you have a serious chronic disease can be stressful. Now a group of researchers in Korea provide evidence (Park et al. 2022) that mental health problems can be an important consequence of diagnosis with HCM. Methods The research team was led by Hyung-Kwan Kim of Seoul National University. These scientists compared the risk…

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Mavacamten Affects Diastolic Dysfunction

Background HCM patients commonly suffer from diastolic dysfunction (also called heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), or left-sided heart failure): their hearts do not fill adequately. As a result, even after septal reduction therapy (SRT: myectomy or alcohol septal ablation), some patients are quite symptomatic. Can mavacamten (Camzyos) help relieve their symptoms? Now a…

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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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