Many factors can change and enlarge your heart's main pumping chamber (left ventricle). The risk factors for dilated cardiomyopathy include:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Hardening and narrowing of arteries (atherosclerosis)
  • Heart valve problems
  • Damage to the heart muscle from a previous heart attack
  • Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Family history of dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Alcoholism
  • Certain chemotherapy drugs for treating cancer
  • Cocaine abuse
  • Viral or bacterial infections of the heart muscle
  • Metabolic disorders, such as thyroid disease or diabetes
  • Absorbing too much iron from the food you eat (hemachromatosis)
  • Nutritional deficiencies of essential vitamins and minerals
  • Inflammation of heart muscle from immune system disorders
  • Metals and other toxic compounds, such as lead, mercury and arsenic
  • Neuromuscular disorders, such as muscular dystrophy
  • Pregnancy
Sep. 16, 2011

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