There are a number of risk factors that can increase your risk of cardiomyopathy, including:

  • Family history. People with a family history of cardiomyopathy, heart failure and sudden cardiac arrest are more likely to develop cardiomyopathy than are those without a family history of heart problems.
  • Obesity. Excess weight makes the heart work harder, which increases the risk of cardiomyopathy and heart failure.
  • Alcoholism. People who abuse alcohol can damage their hearts, and cardiomyopathy can be a consequence. The risk increases significantly after more than five years of drinking seven to eight drinks daily.
  • Illicit drug use. Drugs, such as cocaine, amphetamines and anabolic steroids, may increase the risk of cardiomyopathy.
  • Cancer treatments. While necessary to treat cancer, many cancer treatments can damage some healthy cells too. Certain chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy can increase the risk of cardiomyopathy.
  • Diabetes. Having diabetes ups the risk of cardiomyopathy, heart failure and other heart problems.
  • Thyroid disorders. Having an under- or overactive thyroid gland can increase your risk of cardiomyopathy.
  • Hemochromatosis. This disorder causes the body to store excess iron, and it has been linked to an increased risk of dilated cardiomyopathy.
Jan. 24, 2014

You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.