Cardiomyopathy

Working closely with your care team makes managing your health easier.

Martha Gulati, MD, FACC, CardioSmart Editor-in-Chief
Learn more about Cardiomyopathy

Every day your heart pumps the equivalent of 2,000 gallons of blood throughout your body and creates enough energy to drive a truck 20 miles!  It’s no wonder the heart is the most important muscle in the body. But certain conditions can affect how well it works. Weakening or disease of your heart muscle is called cardiomyopathy.

The most common types of cardiomyopathy are:

• ischemic cardiomyopathy—caused by heart attack and coronary artery disease

• dilated cardiomyopathy—caused by a variety of heart toxins, including viruses and genetic conditions

• hypertrophic cardiomyopathy —caused by genetic conditions and hypertension, and results in a thickening of the heart muscle

• restrictive cardiomyopathy —caused by a variety of conditions and results in the heart muscle becoming stiff

Each type makes it difficult for your heart to pump blood effectively and can lead to heart failure.

Depending on the type you have, cardiomyopathy can be something that runs in families (inherited), or it can be caused by things such as heart or kidney disease, alcoholism, or infections. Treatment can also vary and may include medications, lifestyle changes (like diet and exercise) and use of a pacemaker. Use the condition center to learn more about cardiomyopathy, its different types, and common symptoms and treatments.

Cardiomyopathy News & Events

Enter the "I am CardioSmart" Contest

Oct 17, 2016

Tell us how you are living well with heart disease for a chance to win a trip for two to Washington, D.C., in March 2017!

ACC Partners with Google to Share Reliable Heart Health Information

Sep 20, 2016
“Ask a Doctor” feature promotes patient-provider engagement.

The Importance of Promoting Heart Health in Children

Sep 17, 2016
Experts highlight early education about heart health for prevention later in life.

Positive Emotions Can Trigger Mysterious Heart Condition

Jul 25, 2016
“Broken heart syndrome” is triggered by both joyful and negative events, finds study.
CardioSmart News

Virtual Health Programs Could Improve Global Health

May 22, 2016
An online challenge promotes physical activity and weight loss in over 60 countries.

Heart Disease Burden Has Shifted to Southern U.S. States

May 04, 2016

The highest death rates from heart disease have shifted to the South since the 1970s.

Decline in Dementia Rates Over Past Three Decades

Mar 08, 2016

Study analyzed data on trends in older adults in the Framingham Heart Study.

Texting Programs Improve Medication Adherence in Patients with Chronic Disease

Feb 26, 2016
A recent study suggests that text messaging programs double the odds of medication adherence in adults with chronic disease.

Too Little Exercise Remains a Prime Concern for Americans

Jan 18, 2016
Experts reaffirm that health benefits from exercise far outweigh risks.

Cardiac Rehab is Lifesaving for Heart Patients

Jan 10, 2016

Exercise-based rehab programs reduce risk for heart-related death by 26%.

Heart Disease Remains Top Killer in the United States

Jan 10, 2016

Heart disease accounts for 1 in 3 deaths, highlighting an urgent need for prevention and treatment.

Declines in U.S. Death Rates Have Slowed

Nov 19, 2015
Researchers measure progress on heart disease and other leading causes of death, and identify areas for improvement.

Low-Fat Diets Not the Best Weight Loss Solution

Nov 19, 2015

A review of more than 50 clinical trials comparing low- versus higher-fat diets shows no significant difference in weight loss results.

African-American Veterans Healthier Than White Counterparts

Oct 22, 2015

Analysis of VA data stands in contrast to health disparities in the general U.S. population.

Music Boosts Heart Health

Oct 13, 2015
Music’s effect on heart activity, blood pressure and breathing bodes well for health.

A Healthy Lifestyle in Midlife Makes for Healthier Golden Years

Oct 13, 2015

The benefits of healthy choices carry long into older adulthood.

Longer, But Not Necessarily Healthier, Lives

Sep 25, 2015
While life expectancy continues to rise, heart disease becomes the leading cause of disability around the world.

Deep Belly Fat Increases Cardiovascular Risk

Sep 18, 2015
Study finds that both volume and type of belly fat have an impact on heart health.

Age and Gender Differences in Heart Disease Mortality Rates

Sep 17, 2015
Despite recent drops in cardiovascular mortality rates, death toll among young adults remains high.

Economic and Social Forces Have Big Impact on Heart Health

Aug 21, 2015
The American Heart Association has issued a scientific statement addressing social factors that influence risk for heart disease.

Chocolate Protects Against Heart Disease and Stroke

Jul 01, 2015
Moderate chocolate consumption helps, not harms, cardiovascular health.

Action, Not Advice, Helps Smokers Quit

Jun 25, 2015
Creating a quit plan and providing tools for ongoing support is more effective than education alone in helping smokers quit.

Alcohol Alters Heart Function in Elderly Adults

Jun 08, 2015

Study finds that drinking alcohol causes changes in heart size and function, especially in elderly women.

Cash Incentives Help Smokers Quit

Jun 03, 2015
Rewards-based programs are much more appealing than deposit-based programs, which require smokers to risk their own money.

Mediterranean Diet Improves Memory and Brain Function

May 26, 2015
A diet rich in olive oil and nuts may improve brain function and reduce risk for dementia.