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Question:

If my mother's heart disease has not developed in me, how concerned should I be for my daughters?

My mother, who lived to 75 years old, had 3 heart conditions: Idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis (IHSS), atrial fibrillation and mitral regurgitation. She had multiple strokes in her last 6 years but otherwise she was in relatively good health with medications. I am her daughter, 59 yrs old, and am in good health, on only Levoxyl for thyroid. My 4 siblings, ages 65 to 54, do not have heart conditions as far as they know (only one has had echocardiograms). I had echocardiograms in 1998 and 2010, the latest finding mild heart murmur, 3 leaky valves and mild regurgitation. It was recommended I be retested in 2 to 3 years. My daughters, 18 and 20 yrs old, had echoes in 2002 which were normal. My question is what tests do you recommend for me and how often? And if my mother's IHSS has not developed in me, how concerned should I be for my daughters? (Their father has no history of heart disease in his family.) What tests should they get and how often? Thank you for your time. This is a wonderful opportunity to get these questions cleared up.

submitted by Eileen from Houston, Texas on 11/21/2011

Answer:

by Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, George Younis, MD    

George Younis, MDHi Eileen, There is no strict guidance on the subject.  Frankly we just don't know enough about the genetics of the many types of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy to really tell you.

But based on what you've written, perhaps an echo every five years for you is reasonable, unless you've had a new symptom of concern. Your daughters are much less likely to have an issue if you have not had one. They probably don't need any screening at this age. If you haven't developed it before age 59, then they would not be likely to develop it before age 59 either. Hopefully, by then we will understand this condition in greater depth!      

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Updated November 2011
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