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.
  • High blood pressure. People who have high blood pressure over a long period of time are at higher risk of cardiomyopathy.
  • Conditions that affect the heart. People who have had a heart attack, coronary artery disease or viral infections that affected the heart are at higher risk of cardiomyopathy.
  • Obesity. Excess weight makes the heart work harder, which may increase 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.
  • Diseases that affect the heart. Other diseases, such as a disorder that causes the buildup of abnormal proteins (amyloidosis), a disease that causes inflammation and can cause lumps of cells to grow in the heart and other organs (sarcoidosis), or connective tissue disorders can increase your risk of cardiomyopathy.
Mar. 17, 2015

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