Men with dilated cardiomyopathy are more likely to die than women

14th June 2018

A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology shows that men are 64 percent more likely to die from dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) than women.

Researchers at Imperial College London investigated whether sex impacts the outcome of people living with DCM. The team analysed the data of 881 DCM patients (290 women and 591 men, median age 52 years) over approximately 5 years.

The study found that men with DCM were 64 percent more likely to die, compared to women. They also found that women's hearts were less severely scarred and the strongest pumping chamber in the heart was found to be more functional in women with DCM who had developed heart failure, compared to men. However surprisingly, women were 10 percent more likely to develop heart failure and had more severe symptoms, such as breathlessness and fatigue, compared to men.

Joel Rose, Chief Executive at Cardiomyopathy UK said: “This study gives us greater insight into DCM and we need to do much more to help identity those at risk. We hear from a great number of people with DCM who were diagnosed far too late and we hope that this important work will ultimately help to identify new areas for further research and improve clinical practice.”

Dr. Sanjay Prasad, Reader in Cardiology at Imperial College London and Consultant Cardiologist at Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, said:

"Our research shows that men with DCM are at greater risk of death, compared to women. This insight should encourage doctors to manage male DCM patients more intensively, and better stratify those who should and shouldn't have more extensive treatment.

"I meet people with DCM every day and I've seen it devastate families. That's what drives me and my team to better understand how the disease develops and find those at the greatest risk of complications.”