Dilated cardiomyopathy most commonly occurs in men, ages 20 to 60. Other risk factors include:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Damage to the heart muscle from a heart attack
  • Family history of dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Alcoholism
  • Certain chemotherapy drugs and radiation for treating cancer
  • Cocaine use
  • Viral or bacterial infections of the heart muscle
  • Metabolic disorders, such as thyroid disease or diabetes
  • Diseases that can damage the heart, including hemochromatosis and sarcoidosis
  • Obesity
  • Nutritional deficiencies of essential vitamins and minerals, such as selenium
  • Inflammation of heart muscle from immune system disorders, such as lupus
  • Metals and other toxic compounds, such as lead, mercury and arsenic
  • Neuromuscular disorders, such as muscular dystrophy
  • HIV infection
Aug. 19, 2014

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