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 Dr. George Jacob
Heart Infocenter

Holistic-online.com

Cardiomyopathy

Causes/Risk Factors of Cardiomyopathy

I. Hypertension. When your blood pressure is high, your heart has to work harder resulting in the gradual weakening and ultimate death of heart muscle in severe cases. You can get tips on how to reduce your blood pressure in our section on hypertension.

2. Alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to the progressive death of the heart muscle and eventually in congestive heart failure. If you are suffering from cardiomyopathy, you should immediately stop all consumption of alcohol in any form. This may allow the damage to reverse itself.

3. Valvular Heart Disease. Your heart is a big pump that needs a number of valves to operate efficiently. Your heart valves may become leaky and narrowed as you grow older. When the valves suffer such damage, the heart muscles have to work harder to pump enough blood. This puts stress on the heart. It also could result in some parts of the body not getting enough nutrient leading to gradual damage to the part of the body that is deprived of the vital nutrients. Sometimes surgery may correct this if detected early enough.

4.Viral. Several viral infections are known to invade the heart muscle directly, resulting in weakness and death of the muscle. There is no known therapy for this condition. Some people may recover with minimal damage after the infection is gone, while others suffer from severe and irreversible cardiomyopathy and even death.

5. Unknown (Idiopathic) When we cannot assign a specific cause to an identified medical condition, the medical term used to describe this situation is called idiopathic. There are no therapies for cases of idiopathic cardiomyopathy, and 3 out of 4 patients (75 percent) die within five years of the onset of symptoms.

Regardless of the cause, heart failure is a serious condition. Heart failure is also responsible for a reduced life expectancy.

Summary of Causes and Risk Factors for Cardiomyopathy

Causes Risk Factors
Coronary artery disease 
Idiopathic 
Viral 
Congenital heart disease 
Familial cardiomyopathies
Postpartum
Alcoholism 
Cardiac surgery 
Sarcoidosis
Amyloidosis 
Hemosiderosis 
Radiation 
Hypertension 
Hyperlipidemia 
Obesity 
Diabetes mellitus 
Smoking 
Stress 
Sedentary lifestyle 

Caution: Cardiomyopathy is a life-threatening condition. If you suspect you or someone you know is suffering from cardiomyopathy, seek medical assistance immediately.

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