PreventionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Because hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is inherited, it can't be prevented. However, doctors and scientists are learning more about the genetic mutations that cause the disorder. Though the condition itself can't be prevented, it's important to identify this condition as early as possible to guide treatment and prevent complications.
Preventing sudden death
The use of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator has been shown to help prevent sudden cardiac death, which occurs rarely in those with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Unfortunately, because many people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy don't realize they have it, there are instances where the first sign of a problem is sudden cardiac death. These cases can happen in seemingly healthy young people, including high school athletes and other young, active adults. News of these types of deaths generates understandable attention because they're so unexpected, but parents should be aware these deaths are quite rare.
Still, experts in heart abnormalities generally recommend that those with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy not participate in most competitive sports, with the possible exception of some low-intensity sports. You should talk with your cardiologist about specific recommendations. The use of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator should not be viewed as a substitute for these recommendations.
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