In most cases you can't prevent your heart from enlarging. Let your doctor know if you have a family history of conditions that can cause an enlarged heart, such as cardiomyopathy. If cardiomyopathy or other heart conditions are diagnosed early, treatments may prevent the disease from worsening.
You can help reduce your chance of developing heart failure by avoiding some of the conditions that can contribute to a weak heart, including the abuse of alcohol or cocaine, or not getting enough vitamins and minerals. Controlling high blood pressure with diet, exercise and possibly medications also prevents many people who have an enlarged heart from developing heart failure later in life.
Controlling risk factors for coronary artery disease — tobacco use, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes — helps to reduce your risk of an enlarged heart and heart failure by reducing your risk of heart attack.
Jul. 21, 2011
- Enlarged heart. American Heart Association. http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4517. Accessed Dec. 9, 2010.
- Cardiomyopathies. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec07/ch084666/ch084666a.html. Accessed Dec. 9, 2010.
- What is cardiomyopathy? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/cm/cm_all.html. Accessed Dec. 9, 2010.
- Cardiomegaly on chest X-ray. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00065-2--s0020&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&sid=1093880434&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00065-2--s0020&uniqId=229713866-3#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00065-2--s0020. Accessed Dec. 9, 2010.
- Grogan M (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 3, 2011.