Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a rare heart condition that primarily occurs in men. It is an inherited disease that causes the muscular walls of the ventricles to become significantly thicker, from around 12 mm to 15 mm or more. This makes it harder for the heart to diastole (relax) and fill with blood, and for contraction and the removal of blood to occur. This effect it has on pumping blood efficiently around the body results in symptoms that include, shortness of breath and swollen legs. There is also a significant risk of a myocardial infarction.
There are many different types of this disease depending on which parts of the heart are affected. For example, apical hypertrophy is when only the muscles are the bottom of the heart are affected, whereas symmetrical hypertrophy is where the whole of the ventricle is affected.