A family member has a cardiomyopathy. Does this mean it will be passed on to me?

Cardiomyopathies are usually familial, by that I mean they run in families and they are inherited as an autosomal dominant trait. That is to say that if a parent has a cardiomyopathy, there’s a 50% chance that the cardiomyopathy will be transmitted to any one of their offspring. So in the context of a family history of cardiomyopathy, we are even more stringent in our screening than we are with the general population. We would recommend annual screening between the ages of 11 and 21 in all such individuals. If we don’t find a problem at the age of 21, we will then recommend five yearly screening, or earlier screening should that individual develop any symptoms suggestive of a cardiovascular problem.