World Experts in HCM Converge on Boston to Share Latest Treatments
Leading cause of sudden death in young people now a worldwide issue
(Boston) - More than 250 experts in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) are expected to attend the HCM Summit VI, an international scientific meeting on the disease, from October 27-29 at the Boston Seaport Hotel. Attendees represent 28 states and 23 countries, from China to Brazil to India, a sign that HCM – a genetic disease characterized by the thickening of the heart muscle - is now recognized as a worldwide problem.
"HCM is the most common cause of sudden death in young people, but if properly diagnosed, it is now preventable with an implantable defibrillator,” said Barry Maron, MD, Director of Clinical Research in the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center at Tufts Medical Center and co-host of the international conference. “As a result, HCM-related deaths are actually decreasing and the overall mortality due to the disease is only 0.5 percent per year. However, we are learning that HCM is much more common than previously thought – one in every 200 people in the general population worldwide. It’s no longer a secret internationally."
Dr. Maron, who is widely considered the “father of HCM,” has conducted new research showing evidence of HCM in 118 different countries, home to 90 percent of the world’s population. HCM was found in all races and cultures and appeared equally in both genders.
"Historically, awareness of the disease started out in the U.S., Canada and Western Europe,” said Dr. Maron. “Now it is clear that it occurs across the globe - India and China now have more patients with this disease than does the United States. The fact that HCM has been found in all races and cultures is particularly striking, because it was first thought that the disease was seemingly confined to North Americans and Europeans. And no matter where the disease is found, it appears to have the same genetic markers and clinical expression."
According to Dr. Maron, spontaneous mutations, not genetics, are responsible for the international spread of HCM.
"HCM has undergone a striking transformation, from a grim rare disease that was the cause of sudden death - including in athletes - to a more mature disease with defined treatments that is now expanding into the population across the world," said Martin Maron, Director of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center at Tufts Medical Center and co-host of the summit. “I don’t think there’s another genetic disease that is disseminated as well as this one.”
Officially titled “HCM—A Contemporary & Treatable Genetic Disease: Diagnosis, Heart Failure Management, and Prevention of Sudden Death,” the HCM Summit VI is co-directed by Barry Maron, MD and Martin Maron, MD, jointly provided by Tufts Medical Center’s HCM Center and the Tufts University School of Medicine’s Office of Continuing Education, and held in conjunction with Morristown Medical Center’s Chanin T. Mast Center for HCM.
For more information on the HCM Summit VI, please visit www.hcmsummit.org.
About Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children
Tufts Medical Center is an exceptional, not-for-profit, 415-bed academic medical center that is home to both a full-service hospital for adults and Floating Hospital for Children. Conveniently located in downtown Boston, the Medical Center is the principal teaching hospital for Tufts University School of Medicine. The Medical Center features a level one trauma center with rooftop helipad, the largest heart transplant center in New England and a renowned research program, ranking among the top 10 percent of independent hospitals to receive federal research funding. A physician network of 1,800 New England Quality Care Alliance doctors represents our strong commitment to health in the community. Tufts Medical Center is a founding member of Wellforce, along with Circle Health and Hallmark Health. For more information, visit www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org.