NYC’s Animal Medical Center (AMC) announced the publication of a research study that identifies how hypertrophic cardiomyopathy—a form of heart disease that can cause sudden death and heart failure in people—is also present in cats and linked to serious health problems in these pets.
Termed “The Reveal Study,” the collaborative, international, 10-year investigation involved 50 veterinary centers in 21 countries in an effort to learn how this disease impacts the health of cats over more than a decade.1
Published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, lead author, Philip Fox, DVM, MS, DACVIM/ECVIM (Cardiology), DACVECC, is head of cardiology at the Animal Medical Center and director of its Caspary Research Institute.
The study reports that hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a global feline health problem and estimates that it might affect millions of pet cats. Although the disease has been known by veterinarians for nearly 50 years, almost nothing was known about its epidemiology until now.
“The Reveal Study documented that hypertrophic cardiomyopathy puts cats at considerable risk to develop congestive heart failure, arterial blood clots, and cardiac death,” said Dr. Fox. “Heart failure or blood clots occur in nearly one-third of affected cats, and overall, one in every three or four affected cats experiences a cardiac-related death. This information underscores the need to develop updated perspectives in feline cardiac health, including novel health care treatment strategies that can extend the life span of pets living with this disease.”
Key study findings
- Heart failure or blood clots occurred in nearly one-third of cats afflicted with feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Cardiovascular-related death occurred in approximately 30 percent of the 1,008 cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (a form of the disease) did not result in shorter life expectancy or any greater complications compared to the nonobstructive form of this disease
“Research intended to learn more about naturally occurring diseases affecting companion animals is at the core of AMC’s mission because it enables us to improve the quality of life and extend the life span of these dear pets,” said Kathryn Coyne, CEO at AMC. “This study is an important step in improving feline health and AMC is so proud to be part of such a groundbreaking, global study. We thank the Morris Animal Foundation and Winn Feline Foundation for their support of this work.”
“This study is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication from both Dr. Fox and his many collaborators around the globe and Morris Animal Foundation is proud to be a part of this project,” said Kelly Diehl, DVM, DACVIM, senior scientific programs and communications advisor at Morris Animal Foundation. “We know the results will contribute significantly towards improving the health of our feline companions.”
Visit amcny.org for more information.
1. Fox PR, Keene BW, Lamb K, et al. International collaborative study to assess cardiovascular risk and evaluate long-term health in cats with preclinical hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and apparently healthy cats: The Reveal Study. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 2018;00:1–14. https://doi.org/10.1111/jvim.15122.