The list of cardiomyopathies, that is, diseases of the heart muscle, is very long.
Two particular forms of Cardiomyopathy that can be documented in patients of African and Latin American origin, respectively, are mentioned here:
Endomyocardial fibrosis is a Tropical Restrictive Cardiomyopathy widespread in some areas in Africa, both in adults and children, and of unknown origin. It is characterized by a marked thickening of the inner lining of the right and / or left ventricles, with a significant reduction in the chamber volume and elasticity. This can lead to dilation of one or both atria, with arrhythmias (atrial fibrillation) and heart failure.
With complex cardiac surgery it is possible to remove the fibrous tissue and restore the heart chambers to a normal size.
Chagas disease is a very common disease in continental Latin America. It is caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which is transmitted by triatomine bug bites around the mouth or eyes, usually in children. About XNUMX/XNUMX of infected people remain asymptomatic during their lifetime, but XNUMX/XNUMX develop heart disease in adulthood with Dilated cardiomyopathy, heart failure and arrhythmias which can also lead to sudden cardiac death.
People with chronic infection, often unaware of it, can in turn transmit the disease through blood transfusions, organ transplants and from mother to fetus.
The serological test for Chagas disease is recommended for pregnant women born in Latin American countries. Over the last decade, the number of cases of this disease has increased in North America and in many European countries, including Italy, due to both international travel and migration (Our country is the second in Europe and the third in the world, after the United States and Spain, for the number of migrants from Latin America).