Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: Risk of Sudden Death

Search Knowledgebase

Topic Contents

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: Risk of Sudden Death

Topic Overview

Some people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are at high risk for sudden death. If you are at high risk, you may want to ask your doctor about an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). An ICD can identify life-threatening arrhythmias and successfully restore a normal heartbeat.

Your doctor may suggest an ICD if you are at high risk for sudden death. You are at high risk for sudden death if you:1

  • Have had cardiac arrest or ventricular tachycardia in the past.
  • Had a family member with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy who died suddenly or you have any of the genetic abnormalities associated with sudden death.
  • Have fainted (syncope).
  • Have had low blood pressure during or after exercise.
  • Have extreme left ventricle thickness (more than 30 millimetres).

Related Information



  1. Epstein AE, et al. (2008). ACC/AHA/HRS 2008 Guidelines for Device-Based Therapy of Cardiac Rhythm Abnormalities: A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Writing Committee to Revise the ACC/AHA/NASPE 2002 Guideline Update for Implantation of Cardiac Pacemakers and Antiarrhythmia Devices): Developed in Collaboration With the American Association for Thoracic Surgery and Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Circulation, 117(21): e350–e408. [Correction in Circulation, 120(5): e34–e35.]


By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Stephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology
Last Revised January 14, 2011

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.