WASHINGTON, D.C. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, is an enlargement of the heart, leading to heart failure. Genetics has been proven to play a huge role, according to a new MedStar study led by a doctor who strongly recommends genetic testing.

DCM enlarges the heart, preventing it from pumping enough blood, and a recent study indicated dozens of inherited genes are the cause.

“The vast majority of people with idiopathic cardiomyopathy never get genetic counseling,” said Mark Hofmeyer, a heart failure specialist at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute’s recent five-year dilated cardiomyopathy study revealed first-line family connection genetic mutations are behind DCM.

“It’s critically important that people get screened upfront to avoid progression of disease to severe forms, or dying suddenly,” explained Dr. Hofmeyer.

He also warns against brushing off tell-tale symptoms of DCM, which are shortness of breath, leg swelling, and fatigue.

“Many times, they feel, ‘This is just associated with aging,’ that, ‘I’m feeling more tired,’ that, ‘I don’t have the energy I had before.’,” added Dr. Hofmeyer.

Screening leads to earlier diagnosis, making treatment with medicine possible.

“Getting screening – and not only screening, but recurrent screening – is really the key,” said Dr. Hofmeyer.

This study is the first to show rare variant genetics associated with DCM and Dr. Hofmeyer hopes it will provide insight for providers to better manage the care of patients.

Click here to report a typo.

Source link