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The challenge of diagnosing hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in patients of African descent
  1. Paolo Spirito1,
  2. Paolo Ferrazzi2
  1. 1Divisione di Cardiologia, Ente Ospedaliero Ospedali Galliera, Genoa, Italy
  2. 2Centro per la Cardiomiopatia Ipertrofica e le Cardiopatie Valvolari, Policlinico di Monza, Monza, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Paolo Spirito, Divisione di Cardiologia, Ente Ospedaliero Ospedali Galliera, Via Volta 8, Genova 16128, Italy; paolo.spirito{at}galliera.it

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Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common, as well as the most investigated, inherited cardiac disease and has been estimated to occur in 1 of every 500 persons, a prevalence based on many studies performed in thousands of subjects of different ethnicity, including minorities such as Native American Indians.1 ,2 Therefore, it is surprising how little is known of the impact of ethnicity on the clinical presentation and natural history of HCM in patients of African descent.3 ,4 A limited access of black patients to tertiary HCM referral institutions may explain their disproportionately low representation in large HCM study populations.3 ,5 This, in turn, translates into a marked paucity of literature on HCM in patients of African descent. A clear measure of this inadequate representation emerges from the contrast in the number of papers on HCM reported by PubMed in black patients compared with other ethnic groups (mainly white patients) in major cardiology journals, including: Circulation (since 1960), the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (since 1983), the American Journal of Cardiology (since 1961) and the European Heart Journal (since 1980). Of a total of …

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