Source: British Heart Foundation
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Date of publication: March 2018
Publication type: News item
In a nutshell: There is fresh hope for hundreds of thousands of people in the UK with the potentially deadly heart condition dilated cardiomyopathy. We at the British Heart Foundation are investing over £2 million on the largest ever study of this poorly-understood disease.
DCM is a condition that stretches and thins the heart muscle so it becomes ‘baggy’ and is unable to pump blood around the body efficiently. It is estimated to affect up to 260,000 (1 in 250) people in the UK and is the leading cause of heart transplantation.
Additionally, a staggering 650,000 (1 in 100) people in the UK risk developing the condition due to a common mutation in the titin protein. This mutation predisposes the heart to developing DCM when it is placed under stress such as pregnancy, some cancer treatments and possibly other stresses like alcohol abuse. Development of the condition puts people at greater risk of sudden death, and can also lead to heart failure. After coronary heart disease, DCM is the leading cause of heart failure.
Currently DCM is very poorly understood, with most causes unknown and poor outcomes for patients – research suggests that 15% of patients do not survive beyond 5 years after diagnosis, and up to half of deaths occur within the first 2 years of diagnosis.
Length of publication: 1 webpage
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Acknowledgement: British Heart Foundation