NEW YORK, June 15 (Praxis Press) The risk of sudden death is a possible consequence of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy but has not been quantified for most patients with this disease. Spirito and colleagues examined the relationship between the magnitude of left ventricular hypertrophy and mortality in 480 consecutive patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (see abstract). They found that the risk of sudden death increased progressively and in direct relation to wall thickness. Young patients with extreme hypertrophy, even those with few or no symptoms, appeared to be at substantial long-term risk of sudden death. The majority of patients with mild hypertrophy were at low risk. In patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the magnitude of hypertrophy is directly related to the risk of sudden death and is a strong and independent predictor of prognosis.

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