Racial Differences in HCM

A recent study  found that African-American patients with HCM tend to be younger and more symptomatic than their white counterparts. Additionally, these patients are less likely to undergo septal reduction therapies or have genetic testing.

The implications, according to Dr. Neal Lakdawala of Brigham and Women’s Hospital who is an author of the study, is that doctors should always consider the possibility of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in patients with left ventricular hypertrophy.  If diagnosed with HCM, these patients should be referred to specialists with experience in treating HCM.  This could potentially help these patients avoid the two most devastating complications of HCM:  sudden death and stroke.


More ICD Complications for Women and African-Americans?

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal citing a recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, African-Americans with ICDs were 14% more likely to have complications than white patients with implantable defibrillators, and while women with ICDs were 16% more likely to have complications than men with implantable defibrillators.

The sex-based differences were attributed to the fact that women are generally diagnosed with heart disease later than men, and the fact the device testing process largely omits women, while the race-based differences were less clear, but may have resulted from diminished access to health care by African-American patients.