The Audacity of Grief

Can we talk about grief for a moment? We all experience loss, and each loss impacts us differently. There is no rule book for processing grief, and that’s a beautiful thing – processing grief is unique to the individual it happens to. Grief is defined as a specific type of suffering that is often tied…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

504 Plans and HCM

We understand how challenging it can be to manage life with HCM, and we want to lend a hand.As such, this is the first in a series of short articles to help to get you started concerningissues such as a 504 plan for your child’s school. Other examples are, what qualifies you forSocial Security Disability…

Read More

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…

Read More

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.

Read More

NYHA Class Categories

Doctors usually classify patients’ heart failure according to the severity of their symptoms. The table below describes the most commonly used classification system, the New York Heart Association (NYHA) Functional Classification1. It places patients in one of four categories based on how much they are limited during physical activity. In the HCM community, this NYHA…

Read More

ACC: ORIGINAL INVESTIGATIONS Myosin Inhibition in Patients With Obstructive Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Referred for Septal Reduction Therapy

BACKGROUND Septal reduction therapy (SRT), surgical myectomy, or alcohol ablation, is recommended for obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (oHCM) patients with intractable symptoms despite maximal medical therapy but is associated with morbidity and mortality. OBJECTIVES This study sought to determine whether the oral myosin inhibitor mavacamten enables patients to improve sufficiently to no longer meet guideline criteria…

Read More