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Dilated Cardiomyopathy More Common in Boys

Children have outcomes similar to adults

THURSDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In patients under age 18, dilated cardiomyopathy is more common in boys than girls and in blacks than whites, and their outcomes are similar to those seen in adults, according to a study in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Jeffrey A. Towbin, M.D., of the Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, and colleagues conducted a longitudinal study of 1,426 U.S. and Canadian children with dilated cardiomyopathy.

The researchers found that the annual incidence of dilated cardiomyopathy in children younger than 18 years was 0.57 cases per 100,000 and that it was higher in boys than in girls (0.66 vs. 0.47 cases), in blacks than in whites (0.98 vs. 0.46 cases) and in infants than in children (4.40 vs. 0.34 cases). In most cases, they found that the cause was unknown. Of known causes, the most common ones were identified as myocarditis (46 percent) and neuromuscular disease (26 percent). They also found that the one- and five-year rates of death or transplantation were 31 percent and 46 percent, respectively, which are comparable to rates seen in adults.

"New methods for early diagnosis and risk stratification, as well as new therapies, need to be developed for infants and children with dilated cardiomyopathy to avoid transplantation and premature death," the authors write.

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