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Interessengemeinschaft Herzgesunde Katze e.V.

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Statistical data presentation of HCM-findings of the pawpeds database

On 07 November 2012, the gathered HCM-findings of the independent database pawpeds.com have been delivered, in anonymised form as an extract of the complete database, to the Interest Group Healthy Hearts for statistical analysis.
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These datasets are available from pawpeds after request for anyone, who asks for.
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We are grateful for this cooperation and we sincerely thank the pawpeds responsibles for making available the data to our organisation.
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All statistics and graphs published here only reflect thosee insights and data, that have been reported to pawpeds thanks to responsible pet owners and their willingness to publish.
One can only use those data for an evaluation, which are existing and publically available.
Both non-screening and non-publishing, in long term, isn’t beneficial for the HCM health programm e of all breeds.
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You should note, that for several reasons, not all findings of all screened cats are listed in the pawpeds.com database.
Whether it be the veterinary does not take part in the pawpeds programme, whether it be that findings have been sent in, but not yet published or whether it be, that the owner of the cat not wanted the findings to be published.
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For these reasons, any statement about breed predispositon cannot be derived from this evaluation. Rather, this evaluation reflects only the situation concerning screening and findings within the pawpeds HCM health programme.
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The analysis of the exceedingly data is continuing at the time.
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The data includes

  • 400 findings of 347 cats of the breed Bengal (BEN),
  • 2845 findings of 2294 cats of the breed British Shorthair (BRI),
  • 878 findings of 722 cats of the breed Cornish Rex (CRX),
  • 487 findings of 424 cats of the breed Devon Rex (DRX),
  • 7461 findings of 5472 cats of the breed Maine Coon (MCO),
  • 3801 findings of 3072 cats of the breed Norwegian Forest Cat (NFO),
  • 275 findings of 257 cats of the breeds Persian and Exotic Shorthair (PER/EXO),
  • 1787 findings of 1617 cats of the breed Ragdoll (RAG),
  • 1205 findings of 968 cats of the breed Saint Birman (SBI),
  • 36 findings of 32 cats of the breed Scottish Fold short and long hair (SFS/SFL),
  • 2345 findings of 1535 cats of the breeds Sibirian and Neva Masquerade (SIB/NEM) and
  • 1732 findings of 1138 cats of the breed Sphynx (SPH)

of the years 1998 until August 2012.
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Important: ”findings” means in the upper table, number of examination findings that were sent in (this means the amount of all normal findings, equivocal findings, HCM-findings, RCM-findings and other findings in total!) and not the amount of pathologial findings!
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At this point, we’d like to present our first database evaluation:
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1. Screened cats per breeds

2. Pathological findings per breed
3. Number of screened cats and pathological findings per year
4. Pathological findings in percentage of breeds and years
5. Age of the screened breeds (for all breeds)
6. Percentage of pathologial findings per breed - age of cats
7. Percentage of pathological findings per breed - age first vs. following screening
8. Percentage of pathological findings age/breed
9. Pathological findings in certain age groups
10. Percentage of pathological findings in certain age groups
11. Total number of screened cats and pathological findings in certain age groups
12. Percentage of pathological findings in age groups, on the basis of pathological findings per breed

1. Screened cats per breeds:

pawpeds analysis screened cats per breed
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(source: http://www.pawpeds.com/)
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This graph shows very well, that many cats have been screened and the findings have been published in pawpeds database, certainly in the breed Maine Coon, but also in Norwegian Forest Cats and British Shorthair.
This fact is beneficial for the HCM health programme of these brees, in principle.
However, in MCO, NFO and BRI the portion of cats, that have (at least) been screened a second time, nearly as low as in the other breeds.
To have the HCM health programme to work in an appopriate way, a single cardiological breeding examination is not sufficiant.
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This evaluation of the pawpeds database shall inform all breeders, about how important it is to repeat the cardiological breeding examination (“HCM screening”) regularly.
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The members of the IG Herzgesunde Katze e. V. have bound theirselves as from accession to the society, to breed only with cats, that have been screened not longer than two years ago.
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Please note, that in every graph the total amount of screened cats per breed is listed in the horizontal axis label in parenthesis!

1. a) Re-screened cats per breed
(percentage of cats re-screened 2-4 times)

percentage-rescreened-2-4-times-690
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Please click on the upper graph, for a higher resolution!
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(source: http://www.pawpeds.com/)
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This graph shows very well, that especially in the breeds Sphynx and Sibirian/Neva Masquerade the cats have been re-screened in a significant larger amount for a second, third and 4th time.
In Maine Coon, too, it was re-screened a second to 4th time in larger amount.
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But this graph showx very clearly, that in all breeds there is an urgent need to re-screen the cats regularly! 
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Please note, that in every graph the total amount of screened cats per breed is listed in the horizontal axis label in parenthesis!

1. b) Re-screened cats per breed
(percentage of cats re-screened 5-9 times)

percentage-rescreened-5-9-times-690
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Please click on the upper graph, for a higher resolution!
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(source: http://www.pawpeds.com/)
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This graph shows the catastrophal situation at the 5th to 9th re-screening in all breeds. 
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Please note, that in every graph the total amount of screened cats per breed is listed in the horizontal axis label in parenthesis!

2. Pathological findings per breed

pawpeds-Auswertung - auffällige Befunde pro Rasse1
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(source: http://www.pawpeds.com/)
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Interesting in this graph is the fact that - in opposite to the common view - breeds like Persian/Exotic Shorthair, Sphynx and Cornish Rex have in percentage terms especially high pathological findings rates in the pawpeds database, and not the frequently cited breeds with predispositions.
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However, it is to note, that on the one part with especially few published findings you have to be prepared for a higher probability of errors. On the other hand, the breeds Persian/Exotic Shorthair unfortunately don’t take part in the pawpeds HCM health programme, so you won’t find any findings concerning these breeds in the officially accessible pawpeds internet database.
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If the unexpected high rates in some breeds could come from the fact that in these breeds HCM occurs more often, or if in some breeds (e. g. because of the lack of participation in the pawpeds HCM health programme), those cats could be screened more often, that had pathological findings theirselves or among their relatives, or if this fact could be attributable to the lack of awareness for possible heart problems in these breeds, stays unclear.
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Because pawpeds is a database for purebred cats, in this evaluation the cats of no breed or pedigree are missing. However, in our homepage, we inform about the prevalence of HCM in cat of no breed or pedigree:

    "All cats can be affected by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), and contrary to the widespread opinion that certain breeds are especially at risk, HCM has been proven to be found most commonly in domestic cats, as Dr. Susan Little pointed out at the International Convention on Cat Breeding in Montpellier (France) in March 2006.
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    With 15.5%, a French study on domestic cats in 2009 also found significantly increased numbers of HCM in European domestic cats compared with similar values of known pedigree cats, although, in this study an obsolete cut-off-level of 6 mm was used, while in the pawpeds HCM health programme, a cut-off-level of 5,5 mm for HCM and 5,0 mm for equivcoal was decided.”

The diagnosis of HCM resembles to find a needle in the haystack - and naturally you will find only there, where you are searching. Respectively, you will have the more pathological findings, the more animals in a breed are screened. In addition, heart health is not solely HCM, unfortunately, there are further, partially hereditary, heart diseases, which can be diagnosed in a cardiological breeding examination ("HCM screening"), too. Sometimes these diseases affect these breeds, that usually aren’t screened, because they are supposed to be not affected with HCM (EFE - Endocardial fibroelastosis).
In this regard, please note, just as an example for massive occurence of HCM in overtly as “less affected” classified breeds like Oriental Shorthair. (orientalcats.co.nz) It deserves all our respect, how open the issue HCM is handled there.
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Please note, that in every graph the total amount of screened cats per breed is listed in the horizontal axis label in parenthesis!

3. Number of screened ats and pathologial findings per year

pawpeds-Auswertung - Katzen Befunde pro Jahr1
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(source: http://www.pawpeds.com/)
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This graph shows very well, that there has been a continously increase of findings published at pawpeds in almost all breeds (excluding Ragdoll).
Unfortunately, in the recent past this tendency diminished in the so far especially numerous breeds Maine Coon and, lessened, in the Norwegian Forest Cat.

This means, that we as breeders have to have our cats screened increasingly and that we have to publish the findings, too!
Naturally, this touches breeders of other popular breeds like BRI, too.
In the light of the above, the IG Herzgesunde Katze e. V. is very proud of the large amount of breeders of British Shorthair among the members.
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In this and some further graphs, HCM and equivocal findings are combined, because the first overview suggests, that many cats with equivocal findings haven’t been screened furthermore.
We are in the process, to make another graph which evaluates the equivocal findings. We’d like to answer the question, how many cats have been re-screened, how many had HCM findings in the re-screening and how many hat normal findings in the re-screening (in the case of the latter it is important, too, how often have they been re-screened).
For the separate reference of HCM and HCM&equivocal findings, please note graph 9, graph 10, graph 11 and graph 12.
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Please note, that in every graph the total amount of screened cats per breed is listed in the horizontal axis label in parenthesis!

4. Pathological findings in percentage of breeds and years

pawpeds-Auswertung - prozentual Befunde pro Jahr
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(source: http://www.pawpeds.com/)
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Please pay particular attention to the pathological findings of Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cats in this graph.
After an exorbitant high rate of pathological findings in the beginning, the number of pathological findings have decreased continously in the following years - with an almost constant rate of publication.
It can be assumed, that the health programme archieves its ambition and the amount of HCM findings decreases in participating breeder’s animals, because one an observe this decreasing tendency consistently in all breeds (with some outliers). Moreover, all cardiologists participating in the pawpeds HCM health programme have commited to obtain the cat-owner’s consent in publication before the examination.
This is a fine indication for the effictive work of the HCM health programme on the participating animals.
Some of the members of the IG had a HCM finding and have published it. Moreover, we know several other breeders, who published HCM-findings, too.
Our society avoids creating loopholes, because all members of the IG commited theirselves with the accession to publish all findings notwithstanding the results.
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Please note, that in every graph the total amount of screened cats per breed is listed in the horizontal axis label in parenthesis!

5. Age of the screened breeds (for all breeds)

pawpeds-Auswertung - Alter geschallte Katzen alle Rassen
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(source: http://www.pawpeds.com/)
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This graph shows very well, that the overwhelming majority of the animals have been screened in very young age.
Of course, a first screening before first breeding is essential, due to legal and ethical reasons, but the screening has to be re-done urgently in later years, to increase the value of the HCM health programme.
In the light of the above, a final screening in the age of 8-12 years in (former) studs and queens is expecially valuable.
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For a better view of the cats screened in higher age, please see this zoom-graph:
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age-screened-cats-zoom-690
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Please click on the upper graph, for a higher resolution!
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(source: http://www.pawpeds.com/)
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Please note, that in every graph the total amount of screened cats per breed is listed in the horizontal axis label in parenthesis!

6. Percentage of pathologial findings per breed - age of cats

 pawpeds-Auswertung - auffaellige Befunde pro Rasse
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(source: http://www.pawpeds.com/)
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This graph shows, that in the different breeds there is a different distribution of the age, a pathological finding occurres.
However, it is notable, that in all breeds, also in young age, a substancial part of the pathological findings occurr.
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Please note, that in every graph the total amount of screened cats per breed is listed in the horizontal axis label in parenthesis!

7. Percentage of pathological findings per breed - age first vs. following screening

pp-percentage-age-of-cats-690
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(source: http://www.pawpeds.com/)
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This graph shows again, how important it is to have the cats screened not only once.
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Please note, that in every graph the total amount of screened cats per breed is listed in the horizontal axis label in parenthesis!

8. Percentage of pathological findings age/breed

pawpeds-Auswertung - auffaellige Befunde pro Rasse
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Please click on the upper graph, for a higher resolution!
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(source: http://www.pawpeds.com/)
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This graph shows very well, that most of the pathological findings occur in the age group of 6 - 9 years, spread more widely depending on breed.
Especially the younger age groups show also many pathologial findings.
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Please note, that in every graph the total amount of screened cats per breed is listed in the horizontal axis label in parenthesis!

9. Pathological findings in certain age groups

pawpeds-pathological-age-groups-690
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Please click on the upper graph, for a higher resolution!
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(source: http://www.pawpeds.com/)
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This graph shows very well, how many pathological findings occurred in the age groups younger than 18 months respectively younger than 3 years, although many claim that a cardiologic breeding examination would be significant only from 18 months or even from 3 years of age on.
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Please note, that in every graph the total amount of screened cats per breed is listed in the horizontal axis label in parenthesis!

10. Percentage of pathological findings in certain age groups

pawpeds-percentage-pathological-age-groups-690
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Please click on the upper graph, for a higher resolution!
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(source: http://www.pawpeds.com/)
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This graph shows, how important the screening is in upper age groups, because HCM often occurs in later ages.
To compare the breeds, this graph is especially useful.
It shows very clearly that the percentage of HCM findings respectively HCM & equivocal findings differ strongly in the especially meaningful age group 6 years +.
Of course, one can’t compare the breeds 1 to 1, because there is not the same amount of screened cats in every breed.
However, please note graph 5 and graph 11, too, which show that unfortunately, in all breeds most cats have been screened with around 1 year respectively in the age groups < 18 months respectively < 3 years, and that the number of aged cats that were screened decreases everywhere.
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Please note, that in every graph the total amount of screened cats per breed is listed in the horizontal axis label in parenthesis!

11. Total number of screened cats and pathological findings in certain age groups

pawpeds-total-pathological-age-groups-690
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Please click on the upper graph, for a higher resolution!
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(source: http://www.pawpeds.com/)
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This graph brings the number of screened cats and pathological findings in certain age groups in a relation.
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Please note, that in every graph the total amount of screened cats per breed is listed in the horizontal axis label in parenthesis!

12. Percentage of pathological findings in age groups,
on the basis of pathological findings per breed

pawpeds-percentage-age-groups-690
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Please click on the upper graph, for a higher resolution!
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(source: http://www.pawpeds.com/)
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This graph shows very well, the importance of a first screening in young age, before first breeding.
It shows the proportion of pathological findings per age group, based on the total amount of pathologial findings per breed respectively for all breeds.
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Please note, that in every graph the total amount of screened cats per breed is listed in the horizontal axis label in parenthesis!
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Database analysis:
Britta Singethan, http://www.yankeecats.de
Sabine Hilderhof, http://www.kattepukkel.de

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translated by Sabine Hilderhof

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last update on 19 November 2012

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This page and its contents, including text, photographs, graphics and layout are protected by copyright
Property (unless expressly stated otherwise) of the IG Herzgesunde Katze e. V.
Please note our Copyright Notice
© 2012, IG Herzgesunde Katze e. V.
Webdesign © 2012, Sabine Hilderhof http://www.the-fine-arts-webdesign.de