Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a complex, yet relatively common, genetic heart disease that occurs in approximately 1 in 500 individuals. It affects both genders and all races. The disease results in excessive thickening of the heart muscle and is referred to as “hypertrophy." This occurs mostly in the septum, which is the muscular wall that separates the left and right lower chambers of the heart.
In the majority of patients, this thickening begins during puberty, with little to no change in the thickness beyond early adulthood. However, symptoms from HCM can develop or worsen at any age, but most commonly occur during mid-life. Many patients live into advanced age having never experienced a symptom or complication.