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Cardiomyopathies are a group of inherited heart muscle disorders. Expressivity is variable and while sometimes mild, complications can result in sudden cardiac death (SCD) at any age, heart failure and stroke. In around a third of patients a monogenic cause is identifiable, and development of genetic therapies that aim to correct the underlying genetic defect is underway. Here we describe results of a survey designed to understand preliminary views of the patient community about genetic therapies in the context of disease burden. The internet survey was publicized with a bespoke information video via patient support groups in the UK and USA; 634 people responded of whom 96% had a personal and/or family history of cardiomyopathy. Findings show that concern about cardiomyopathy-related issues with a future dimension, such as disease progression, is significantly greater than concern about current issues. A total of 93.6% thought that genetic therapies should be developed for cardiomyopathy. A majority would consider participation in a genetic therapy trial in six scenarios varying by age and clinical situation significantly more in the scenario of an adult with symptomatic disease and evident progression than an asymptomatic adult with SCD risk, or a child. In all scenarios, a majority said that the chance genetic therapy would stop or slow progression, and risk of serious adverse and unintended effects, were important considerations. Qualitative analysis of free-text responses found that concern was often informed by family experience. Patient consideration of genetic therapy is likely to require individualized assessment of the benefits and risks.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Hum Genet

Publication Date