American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology share updated guidance on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology have collaborated on a new guidance for the management of patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

The document, published in both Circulation and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, is actually an update of a previous document the groups published back in 2011. The recommended treatment for HCM patients depends on a number of factors, and the authors have worked to detail those different options. Also, a key detail of this latest guidance is that it highlights the importance of shared decision-making when it comes to caring for patients with HCM.

“Shared decision-making, a dialogue between patients and their care team that includes full disclosure of all testing and treatment options, discussion of the risks and benefits of those options and, importantly, engagement of the patient to express their own goals, is particularly relevant in the management of conditions such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy,” Steve R. Ommen, MD, professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, and chair of the guidance’s writing committee, said in a prepared statement. “This updated guideline places emphasis on including the patient in the decision-making process rather than simply providing dogmatic lists of do’s and don'ts.”

Another big update is that that groups now say participating in competitive sports may be perfectly fine for some HCM patients—as long as the necessary discussions with physicians take place before such activities begin.

“Increasingly, data affirm that the beneficial effects of exercise on general health can be extended to patients with HCM,” Ommen said. “Healthy recreational exercise (moderate intensity) has not been associated with increased risk of ventricular arrhythmia events in recent studies.”  

HCM patients can be treated by any cardiovascular care providers, but the authors do recommend that patients with severe HCM—or those facing especially challenging care decisions—seek care from a multidisciplinary HCM center.

Click here or here to explore the updated document in full.