Barr introduces legislation to identify more Americans with cardiomyopathy

U.S. Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) on March 10 introduced a bipartisan bill that would authorize and support the creation and dissemination of cardiomyopathy-related materials and resources to identify more at-risk Americans who might have this heart disease, including children.

“This legislation will raise awareness and increase education efforts about a disease that is often mistreated or misdiagnosed because it is so difficult to detect,” Rep. Barr said on Tuesday.

Rep. Barr is the original cosponsor of the Cardiomyopathy Health Education, Awareness, Research, and Training in the Schools (HEARTS) Act, H.R. 6166, with bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ), which also would authorize research and surveillance activities related to cardiomyopathy.

Additionally, H.R. 6166 would establish a working group to identify and find ways to close research gaps in cardiomyopathy, a disease that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest, according to a bill summary provided by Rep. Barr’s office.

The Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation (CCF) and the American Heart Association have endorsed the bill.

“I applaud CCF for their advocacy on this issue and I am delighted to work with Congressman Kim on this bipartisan bill to spotlight this disease and ensure that proper treatment is given to those who are afflicted,” said Rep. Barr.

Cardiomyopathy is the leading cause of heart transplants and cardiac arrest in children, according to the CCF, which says that because 67 percent of cardiomyopathy cases have no known cause, research holds the key to understanding and finding a cure for this disease.

H.R. 6166 has been referred for consideration to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee.