Bristol Myers Squibb Launches Could It Be HCM? Campaign to Increase Awareness of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), the Most Common Inherited Heart Disease


The reported prevalence of HCM ranges from 1 in 200* to 1 in 500 people in the general population, however it is estimated that many patients remain undiagnosed, underscoring need for increased awareness and education

Jared Butler, professional basketball player living with HCM, to partner on education campaign and share his diagnosis story offers educational content and downloadable resources to increase awareness of the disease and help people experiencing possible signs and symptoms talk to their doctor and ask if they should see a cardiologist

Bristol Myers Squibb today announced the launch of Could It Be HCM?, an education campaign to help raise awareness of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Could It Be HCM? encourages those experiencing possible signs and symptoms of HCM to talk to their doctor about what they’re feeling and ask if they should see a cardiologist.

The reported prevalence of HCM ranges from 1 in 200* to 1 in 500 people in the general population. However, only about 100,000 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with HCM, suggesting that approximately 85 percent§ may remain undiagnosed. HCM is also the most common inherited heart condition and can be passed down within families. HCM can be a challenge for healthcare providers to diagnose because it can be asymptomatic and its symptoms, which can include shortness of breath, unexplained tiredness, chest pain, rapid heartbeat and fainting, among others, can be similar to those of other conditions, such as anxiety, asthma, heart failure, coronary heart disease and atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat). Only a healthcare provider can determine whether these symptoms indicate HCM or another condition.

“Early diagnosis of HCM is critical because a delayed or missed diagnosis may put a patient’s health at greater risk,” said Michael J. Ackerman, M.D., Ph.D., Genetic Cardiologist and Director of the Windland Smith Rice Genetic Heart Rhythm Clinic at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. “HCM is a lifelong heart condition that can be debilitating, reducing physical functioning and overall well-being. It can get worse over time and have serious complications. That’s why awareness of this disease is so critical.”

As part of this effort, Bristol Myers Squibb is partnering with Jared Butler, who earlier this year led Baylor University to the NCAA men’s basketball national championship and is now a professional basketball player. Butler, who was diagnosed with HCM while in college and is a patient of Dr. Ackerman’s, will share his—and his family’s—experience with the condition to further highlight its impact on his life.

“I am pleased to be part of the Could It Be HCM? campaign and to share my story in the hope that we can raise awareness of this lifelong heart condition,” said Butler. “As I was about to start my college basketball career, I was diagnosed with HCM during a routine physical examination. While I have been able to continue playing basketball, I know my experience with HCM is different from others living with the condition, who may experience debilitating symptoms and have difficulty performing everyday tasks. However, I believe that my story can encourage people to learn more about HCM and, if they are experiencing symptoms, see a doctor.”

At the center of the campaign is, which provides important information about HCM and support tools for people experiencing unexplained symptoms. Downloadable resources available at include a symptom guide and a discussion guide to help someone experiencing unexplained symptoms have a productive conversation with their physician.

“At Bristol Myers Squibb we are committed to supporting patient communities and providing education and resources for patients is a key component of this commitment,” said Michelle Calope, Vice President, U.S. Cardiovascular and Established Brands, Bristol Myers Squibb. “We believe that by increasing the visibility of HCM, a disease that many may be unfamiliar with, we can help patients and their families better understand the disease.”

For more than 60 years, Bristol Myers Squibb has been steadfast in its commitment to helping patients living with cardiovascular diseases. The Could It Be HCM? campaign is designed to continue this long-standing commitment by raising awareness of HCM.

To learn more about HCM and the impact it can have, please visit

* The 2015 Semsarian publication identified that the prevalence of HCM gene carriers could be as high as 1 in 200.
† The 1995 CARDIA study—a multicenter, US-population–based echocardiography study of 4111 subjects (aged 23–35)—identified the prevalence of HCM as 1 in 500 people in the general population.
‡ Based on 2013 ICD-9 claims data analysis (N=169,089,614): An estimated ~700,000 overall US prevalence of HCM (1. ~100,000 patients with diagnosed HCM [based on 2013 US Census population], 2. ~600,000 patients with undiagnosed HCM [based on analysis’ assumption that 1-in-500 prevalence represents clinically unrecognized cases]).
§ Estimated undiagnosed range calculated using prevalence of 1 in 500, estimated US population (332,330,571 in May 2021), and estimated diagnosed population (~100,000).

About HCM

HCM is a chronic heart disease that affects the heart muscle. It is the most common inherited heart disease and can be a serious heart condition, yet most people with HCM don’t even know they have it. In HCM patients, the walls of the heart become thicker than they should be and this excessive thickening can cause the heart to become more stiff, leaving less room for blood to fill the heart. This means a heart affected by HCM has to work harder and may have difficulty pumping oxygen-rich blood out to the rest of body. As a result, those with HCM may experience fatigue, a fast heartbeat, chest pain, breathing problems or light-headedness which may interfere with a patient’s ability to participate in activities of daily living. Furthermore, HCM has also been associated with increased risk of atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat), stroke, heart failure, and in rare cases, sudden cardiac death.

About Bristol Myers Squibb

Bristol Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol Myers Squibb, visit us at or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.


Dr. Ackerman is a paid scientific advisor for Bristol Myers Squibb.

Bristol Myers Squibb

Media Inquiries:

Tim Power

Source: Bristol Myers Squibb

Multimedia Files:

Categories: Press Releases