Can a common heart condition cause sudden death?

About one person out of 500 has a heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). This condition causes thickening of the heart muscle and results in defects in the heart’s electrical system. Under conditions of environmental stress such as exercise, HCM can result in sudden death. In other cases, patients may go undiagnosed, with their heart function declining gradually over decades.

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