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