Less common forms of heart disease which cause sudden death include congenital and valvular heart disease, cardiomyopathy, and myocarditis. There are numerous congenital abnormalities of the heart which may cause sudden death. Single coronary arteries and abnormal anatomic distributions of the coronaries are relatively common. Many severe congenital problems may be discovered at birth or shortly thereafter. Abnormalities of the heart valves, such as narrowings or ballooning (prolapse of the mitral valve) can cause sudden death. Cardiomyopathies or heart muscle disease, such as asymmetrical hypertrophy of the heart and dilated idiopathic cardiomyopathy, may cause sudden death at a young age, often during exercise. Sudden unexpected death from myocarditis (infection of the heart wall) may follow a flu-like illness.
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