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What is cardiomyopathy, and how can it lead to heart failure?

ANSWER

Cardiomyopathy is a problem with the heart muscle. Usually it gets too thick or enlarged. The heart has four valves that direct the flow of blood. A problem with any valve forces the heart to pump harder leading to a decrease in its ability to function properly. That decrease can lead to heart failure. A heart attack can bring on cardiomyopathy. So can something unrelated to the heart, such as a viral infection or alcohol overuse. Cardiomyopathy can also lead to arrhythmias.

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Causes of Heart Failure," "Warning Signs of Heart Failure," "The Impact of Congenital Heart Defects."

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "How Is Heart Failure Diagnosed?" "Types of Congenital Heart Defects," "What Is Cardiomyopathy?" "What Is Heart Valve Disease?"

Circulation: "Navigating the Crossroads of Coronary Artery Disease and Heart Failure."

Heart Failure Clinics : "The role of coronary artery disease in heart failure," "The Impact of Peripheral Arterial Disease on Patients with Congestive Heart Failure."

Heartfailurematters.org: "Coronary Artery Disease."

South County Health: "Heart Attack vs Heart Failure."

Heart Rhythm Society: "Heart Failure."

UpToDate: "Pathogenesis of ventricular arrhythmias in heart failure and cardiomyopathy."

Johns Hopkins Heart & Vascular Institute: "Conditions We Treat: Cardiomyopathy (Heart Failure)," "Valvular Heart Disease."

Cardiology : "Chronic Heart Failure in Congenital Heart Disease: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association."

The Marfan Foundation: "Heart and Blood Vessels in Marfan Syndrome."

Texas Heart Institute: "Marfan Syndrome."

Medscape: "Hypertensive Heart Disease."

Blood Pressure UK: "Heart failure and high blood pressure."

European Heart Journal: " 2015 ESC Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of pericardial diseases: The Task Force for the Diagnosis and Management of Pericardial Diseases of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC)."

Cleveland Clinic: "Pericardial Disease."

American Journal of the Medical Sciences: "Pericardial and Pleural Effusions in Congestive Heart Failure -- Anatomical, Pathophysiologic, and Clinical Considerations ."

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on July 6, 2019

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Causes of Heart Failure," "Warning Signs of Heart Failure," "The Impact of Congenital Heart Defects."

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "How Is Heart Failure Diagnosed?" "Types of Congenital Heart Defects," "What Is Cardiomyopathy?" "What Is Heart Valve Disease?"

Circulation: "Navigating the Crossroads of Coronary Artery Disease and Heart Failure."

Heart Failure Clinics : "The role of coronary artery disease in heart failure," "The Impact of Peripheral Arterial Disease on Patients with Congestive Heart Failure."

Heartfailurematters.org: "Coronary Artery Disease."

South County Health: "Heart Attack vs Heart Failure."

Heart Rhythm Society: "Heart Failure."

UpToDate: "Pathogenesis of ventricular arrhythmias in heart failure and cardiomyopathy."

Johns Hopkins Heart & Vascular Institute: "Conditions We Treat: Cardiomyopathy (Heart Failure)," "Valvular Heart Disease."

Cardiology : "Chronic Heart Failure in Congenital Heart Disease: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association."

The Marfan Foundation: "Heart and Blood Vessels in Marfan Syndrome."

Texas Heart Institute: "Marfan Syndrome."

Medscape: "Hypertensive Heart Disease."

Blood Pressure UK: "Heart failure and high blood pressure."

European Heart Journal: " 2015 ESC Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of pericardial diseases: The Task Force for the Diagnosis and Management of Pericardial Diseases of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC)."

Cleveland Clinic: "Pericardial Disease."

American Journal of the Medical Sciences: "Pericardial and Pleural Effusions in Congestive Heart Failure -- Anatomical, Pathophysiologic, and Clinical Considerations ."

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on July 6, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

Can congenital heart disease raise your chances of getting heart failure?

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