Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center and Research Institute

History + Prevalence

HCM is about 60 years old, with the first clinical report dating back to 1963. The first comprehensive clinical description was made by Dr. Eugene Braunwald and his colleagues at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

In the video clip below, Dr. Braunwald discusses the early days, including the description of the first patient clinically identified with HCM. Since that time, numerous clinicians and scientists have made major contributions to our undrestanding of HCM from a number of institutions


In this video, Tufts Medical Center's Dr. Barry Maron interviews Dr. Eugene Braunwald during the luncheon address “HCM-Reflections on the Discovery of a New Disease: Both Obstructive and Non-obstructive” of the HCM Summit VI held in Boston, MA in October 2017. For more on the international Summit, visit www.hcmsummit.org.

How common is HCM?

If you have received a diagnosis of HCM you are not at all alone. Most patients are surprised to learn how common HCM is. Our data place occurrence up to 1 in every 200 of the general population, which means that there may be as many as 750,000 Americans affected by this disease in some way. However, only a fraction of these individuals are actually identified clinically and therefore HCM is considered an under-recognized disease.

Patients are also often surprised to learn that HCM is a worldwide disease which has now been identified in 122 countries, on all continents, comprising 90% of the world’s population. Therefore, HCM occurs in many cultures, races, ethnic groups, in both genders equally, and appears to be a similar (if not identical) disease wherever it is found.

World Map of HCM

World map identifying locations where HCM has been found