The cause of dilated cardiomyopathy often can't be determined (idiopathic). However, numerous factors can cause the left ventricle to dilate and weaken, including:

  • Genetics
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Infections, including those caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Certain cancer medications
  • Exposure to toxins, such as lead, mercury and cobalt
  • Coronary artery disease or heart attack
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Diabetes
  • Complications of late-stage pregnancy
Aug. 19, 2014

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