Cardiomyopathy is a group of diseases that affect the heart muscle.[1] Early on there may be few or no symptoms.[1] As the disease worsens, shortness of breath, feeling tired, and swelling of the legs may occur, due to the onset of heart failure.[1] An irregular heart beat and fainting may occur.[1] Those affected are at an increased risk of sudden cardiac death.[2]

Opened left ventricle showing thickening, dilatation, and subendocardial fibrosis noticeable as increased whiteness of the inside of the heart.
TreatmentDepends on type and symptoms[5]
Frequency2.5 million with myocarditis (2015)[6]
Deaths354,000 with myocarditis (2015)[7]

Types of cardiomyopathy include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, dilated cardiomyopathy, restrictive cardiomyopathy, arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia, and Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (broken heart syndrome).[3] In hypertrophic cardiomyopathy the heart muscle enlarges and thickens.[3] In dilated cardiomyopathy the ventricles enlarge and weaken.[3] In restrictive cardiomyopathy the ventricle stiffens.[3]

In many cases, the cause cannot be determined.[4] Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is usually inherited, whereas dilated cardiomyopathy is inherited in about one third of cases.[4] Dilated cardiomyopathy may also result from alcohol, heavy metals, coronary artery disease, cocaine use, and viral infections.[4] Restrictive cardiomyopathy may be caused by amyloidosis, hemochromatosis, and some cancer treatments.[4] Broken heart syndrome is caused by extreme emotional or physical stress.[3]

Treatment depends on the type of cardiomyopathy and the severity of symptoms.[5] Treatments may include lifestyle changes, medications, or surgery.[5] Surgery may include a ventricular assist device or heart transplant.[5] In 2015 cardiomyopathy and myocarditis affected 2.5 million people.[6] Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy affects about 1 in 500 people while dilated cardiomyopathy affects 1 in 2,500.[3][8] They resulted in 354,000 deaths up from 294,000 in 1990.[7][9] Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia is more common in young people.[2]

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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Cardiomyopathy, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.