Screening for Dilated Cardiomyopathy in At-Risk First-Degree Relatives

DCM Precision Medicine Study of the DCM Consortium, Gregory A. Ewald, Nancy K. Sweitzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Cardiovascular screening is recommended for first-degree relatives (FDRs) of patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), but the yield of FDR screening is uncertain for DCM patients without known familial DCM, for non-White FDRs, or for DCM partial phenotypes of left ventricular enlargement (LVE) or left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD). Objectives: This study examined the yield of clinical screening among reportedly unaffected FDRs of DCM patients. Methods: Adult FDRs of DCM patients at 25 sites completed screening echocardiograms and ECGs. Mixed models accounting for site heterogeneity and intrafamilial correlation were used to compare screen-based percentages of DCM, LVSD, or LVE by FDR demographics, cardiovascular risk factors, and proband genetics results. Results: A total of 1,365 FDRs were included, with a mean age of 44.8 ± 16.9 years, 27.5% non-Hispanic Black, 9.8% Hispanic, and 61.7% women. Among screened FDRs, 14.1% had new diagnoses of DCM (2.1%), LVSD (3.6%), or LVE (8.4%). The percentage of FDRs with new diagnoses was higher for those aged 45 to 64 years than 18 to 44 years. The age-adjusted percentage of any finding was higher among FDRs with hypertension and obesity but did not differ statistically by race and ethnicity (16.2% for Hispanic, 15.2% for non-Hispanic Black, and 13.1% for non-Hispanic White) or sex (14.6% for women and 12.8% for men). FDRs whose probands carried clinically reportable variants were more likely to be identified with DCM. Conclusions: Cardiovascular screening identified new DCM-related findings among 1 in 7 reportedly unaffected FDRs regardless of race and ethnicity, underscoring the value of clinical screening in all FDRs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2059-2071
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 30 2023


  • dilated cardiomyopathy
  • family members
  • screening


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