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Adult Stage (ages 15+)
As the disorder progresses, life-threatening heart and respiratory conditions become more prevalent. Major symptoms of heart and lung complications include shortness of breath, fluid in the lungs, and swelling in the feet and lower legs. Families may elect to have a tracheotomy tube to help with breathing.
It is important for boys with Duchenne to be evaluated with an echocardiogram early in the diagnosis, and each year thereafter. Boys with Duchenne develop a dilated cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart).
Young men with Duchenne usually pass away in their 20s or early 30s due to these types of complications.
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