(HealthDay News) — Patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HC) without traditional risk factors and with no or mild symptoms have a considerable rate of sudden cardiac death, according to a study published in the May 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

Paolo Spirito, MD, from the Ente Ospedaliero Ospedali Galliera in Genoa, Italy, and colleagues examined the risk of sudden cardiac death in a cohort of 653 patients with HC, without risk factors and with no or mild symptoms. Patients were followed for a median of 5.3 years.

The researchers found that 5.4% of the participants died of HC-related causes during follow-up. The mean age of death was 46 years for patients who died suddenly, 66 years for patients who died of heart failure, and 72 years for patients who died of stroke. For sudden death, heart failure death, and stroke-related death, the event rate was 0.6, 0.2, and 0.1% per year, respectively. There was an inverse and independent correlation for sudden death risk with age; heart failure and stroke risk correlated directly with age (P=0.020). Sudden death risk was 5.9% at 10 years after the initial evaluation, with patients with normal left atrial dimension (≤40mm) having the lowest risk (0.3%).

“In conclusion, in our patients with HC with no conventional risk factors and no or mild symptoms, the rate of sudden death proved to be more common than expected (0.6% per year),” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to GeneDx and Medtronic.

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