According to the University of Buffalo Chair of AHA writing group, though rare, heart muscle disease causes some of the world disease in children, reports Ellen Goldbaum of University of Buffalo News. What is this disease? Cardiomyopathy, a heart condition involving muscle fiber abnormalities, causes contractions with each heartbeat. About 50% of children with this type of heart disease either undergo surgery or die within two years of diagnosis reports Ms. Goldbaum.
Hence, the call to action as part of the American Heart Association (AHA) scientific statement published on May 28th in Circulation. It was produced by Steven E. Lipshultz, MD, the A. Conger Goodyear Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Buffalo.
Pediatric Cardiomyopathy Occurrence
This terrifying disease occurs in approximately 1 in 100,000 U.S. children. Upon affliction, the heart won’t pump blood efficiently. Symptoms range from shortness of breath, arrhythmias, dizziness, swollen hands and feet, and other indications.
A Dearth of Research
Although pediatric cardiomyopathy afflicts children at about the same rate as some childhood cancers (e.g. lymphoma, Wilms tumor and neuroblastoma, the quantity of “published research and scientific conferences focused on pediatric cardiomyopathy are sparser than that for those cancers” reports University of Buffalo.
The authors note that based on studies from the Pediatric Cardiomyopathy Registry, the cause remains unknown in the vast majority of cases—yet another reason why the research is needed.