Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a heart muscle disease that affects the heart’s ability to pump properly.

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Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (or HCM for short) is one of the three main types of cardiomyopathy. The others are dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC).

For the majority of people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) the condition does not limit the quality or duration of life. However, a minority of people do experience significant symptoms and could be at risk of sudden death.

In people who have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), the heart muscle thickens and its cells lie in disorganised layers rather than smooth, straight lines. The thickness and how much of the muscle is affected can vary from person to person. There is often also scarring of the heart muscle.


Our free booklet on HCM is available for anyone interested in learning more about the condition.

Download a copy of our Living with Cardiomyopathy booklet

We also have an information and support leaflet explaining the different ways you can get support

Or if you would prefer hard copies please fill out an order form (UK only)


Further reading

Our section on Living Well covers lots of topics about life with cardiomyopathy including insurance, work and physical health

Professor Andre Ng talks about cardiomyopathy and heart failure

The importance of family screening

Dr Maite Tome talks about exercise in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)

Assessing risk in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy by Dr Constantinos O'Mahony