Overview of Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy Meaning in Urdu

اس بیماری کی وجہ سے دل کے پٹھے متاثر ہوتے ہیں جس کی وجہ سے دل کے لیے مؤثر طور پر خون کو پمپ کرنا مشکل ہو جاتا ہے۔ اگر اس بیماری کا بر وقت اور مؤثر علاج نہ حاصل کیا جائے تو دل کی دائمی ناکامی کا سامنا بھی کرنا پڑ سکتا ہے۔ یہ ممکن ہے کہ ابتدائی سطح پر اس کی وجہ سے علامات کا سامنا نہ کرنا پڑے، تاہم وقت گزرنے کے ساتھ اس کی علامات ظاہر ہونے لگتی ہیں۔ اس بیماری کی وجہ سے ٹانگوں یا ٹخنوں کی سوزش، کھانسی، تھکاوٹ، سونے میں مشکلات، اور چھاتی کی بے چینی لاحق ہو سکتی  ہے۔


Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle in which the heart becomes enlarged, thickened, or stiffened, which can lead to reduced ability of the heart to pump blood effectively. Cardiomyopathy causes may include genetics, infections, drug and alcohol abuse, and other factors. Symptoms of cardiomyopathy may include shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling in the legs or abdomen, irregular heartbeats, and fainting. 

Prevalence of Cardiomyopathy:

Cardiomyopathy often goes undiagnosed, so the numbers can vary. Globally, 1 out of 500 adults may have Cardiomyopathy. Males and females of all ages and races get affected equally. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is the most common type. 

Signs and Symptoms of Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy symptoms can vary depending on the type and severity of the disease. Some common symptoms of cardiomyopathy include:

  • Shortness of breath, especially with physical activity or when lying down
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Swelling in the ankles, feet, legs, abdomen, or veins in the neck
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias)
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fainting or near-fainting
  • Difficulty in exercising or physical activity

Some people with cardiomyopathy may not have any symptoms, while others may experience severe symptoms that can impact their daily life. If you experience these symptoms, consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Types of Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy affects the heart muscle, leading to its dysfunction. Cardiomyopathy types include:

  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy: This type of cardiomyopathy involves the enlargement of the heart's chambers, weakening the heart and affecting its ability to pump blood efficiently.
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: This type of cardiomyopathy represents the thickening of the heart muscle, making it difficult for the heart to pump blood effectively.
  • Restrictive Cardiomyopathy: This type of cardiomyopathy involves the stiffening of the heart muscle, which can restrict the heart's ability to fill properly with blood.
  • Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy: This type of cardiomyopathy affects the heart’s right ventricle, causing it to get replaced with fat and scar tissue, leading to abnormal heart rhythms.
  • Unclassified Cardiomyopathy: This is a catch-all category that includes types of cardiomyopathy that do not fit into the other categories.

It's important to note that these types of cardiomyopathy are not mutually exclusive, and an individual may have a combination of two or more of them.

Causes of Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy causes include:

  • Genetics: Some forms of cardiomyopathy are inherited, meaning they happen due to a gene mutation passed down through families. Examples of inherited cardiomyopathies include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and dilated cardiomyopathy.
  • Infections: Viral infections can damage the heart muscle and cause cardiomyopathy. Examples of viral infections that can cause cardiomyopathy include Coxsackievirus B, adenovirus, and HIV.
  • Alcohol and Drug Abuse: Long-term alcohol and drug abuse can damage the heart muscle and lead to cardiomyopathy. Cocaine and amphetamines, in particular, have been associated with the development of cardiomyopathy.
  • High Blood Pressure: Chronic high blood pressure can strain the heart and cause the heart muscle to become thickened and weakened, leading to cardiomyopathy.
  • Coronary Artery Disease: Narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart muscle, can lead to cardiomyopathy.
  • Autoimmune Diseases: Some autoimmune diseases, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, can cause inflame the heart muscle and lead to cardiomyopathy.
  • Other diseases: Certain diseases, such as diabetes, thyroid disease, or amyloidosis, can also lead to cardiomyopathy.

In many cases, the cause of cardiomyopathy is unknown. It is known as idiopathic cardiomyopathy.


Risk Factors of Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy risk factors include:

  • Family History: If someone in your family has cardiomyopathy, you may be at increased risk of developing the condition.
  • Age: As you get older, your risk of developing cardiomyopathy increases.
  • High blood pressure: Chronic high blood pressure can lead to the thickening and stiffening of the heart muscle, eventually leading to cardiomyopathy.
  • Coronary artery disease: A blockage in one or more of the arteries that supply blood to the heart can damage the heart muscle and increase the risk of cardiomyopathy.
  • Diabetes: People with diabetes are at increased risk of developing heart disease, including cardiomyopathy.
  • Obesity: Being overweight or obese can put extra strain on the heart and increase the risk of cardiomyopathy.
  • Alcohol abuse: Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol over a long time can damage the heart muscle and lead to cardiomyopathy.
  • Chemotherapy and radiation therapy: Certain types of chemotherapy and radiation therapy used to treat cancer can damage the heart muscle and increase the risk of cardiomyopathy.
  • Infections: Viral infections like myocarditis damage the heart muscle and increase the cardiomyopathy risk. 

It's important to note that not everyone having one or more of these risk factors will develop cardiomyopathy, and some people who develop the condition may not have any known risk factors. 

Cardiomyopathy Complications:

Cardiomyopathy complications can vary depending on the type and severity of the disease. Here are some of the common complications:

  • Heart Failure: As the heart muscle gets weaker, it can become less efficient in pumping blood, leading to heart failure. Symptoms may include fatigue, shortness of breath, swelling of the legs and feet, and difficulty breathing when lying down.
  • Arrhythmias: Cardiomyopathy can cause irregular heartbeats or arrhythmias, which can be life-threatening. Arrhythmias can lead to sudden cardiac arrest, a condition where the heart suddenly stops beating, and can cause death if not treated immediately.
  • Blood clots: People with cardiomyopathy are at a higher risk of developing blood clots, which can lead to stroke or other complications.
  • Valve Problems: Cardiomyopathy can cause problems with the heart valves, leading to leakage or narrowing of the valves. It can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath and chest pain.
  • Sudden Cardiac Death: In some cases, cardiomyopathy can lead to sudden cardiac death, when the heart stops beating suddenly and unexpectedly. It is more likely to occur in people with severe cardiomyopathy or those with a family history of sudden cardiac death.

It is important to note that cardiomyopathy complications can get managed with appropriate treatment and lifestyle changes. Therefore, it is essential to seek medical attention if you have symptoms of cardiomyopathy or are at risk of developing the disease.



While some risk factors for cardiomyopathy, such as genetics, cannot be prevented, several lifestyle changes can reduce your risk of developing the condition or slow its progression. Here are some cardiomyopathy prevention ways:

  • Control your blood pressure: High blood pressure can strain your heart and increase your risk of developing cardiomyopathy. You can control your blood pressure by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, reducing salt intake, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Manage diabetes: If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar levels in check to reduce your risk of cardiomyopathy. It involves monitoring your blood sugar regularly, following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and taking medications as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Obesity puts extra strain on the heart and increases the risk of cardiomyopathy. Maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise and a healthy diet can help reduce this risk.
  • Avoid alcohol abuse: Excessive alcohol consumption can damage the heart muscle and increase the risk of cardiomyopathy. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation or consider abstaining altogether.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease and can contribute to the development of cardiomyopathy. Quitting smoking can help reduce your risk and improve your overall health.
  • Get regular checkups: Regular checkups with your doctor can help detect any potential heart problems early on, allowing for prompt treatment and prevention of further damage.
  • Manage stress: Chronic stress can contribute to heart disease and increase the risk of cardiomyopathy. Managing stress through techniques such as meditation, yoga, and exercise can help reduce this risk.


Cardiomyopathy diagnosis involves a combination of medical history, physical examination, imaging tests, and other diagnostic procedures.

Here are some steps involved in diagnosing cardiomyopathy:

  • Medical history and physical examination: Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms, medical history, family history of heart disease, and lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and drug use. They will also perform a physical examination to check your heart rate, rhythm, and any signs of heart failure.
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG): An ECG records the electrical activity of your heart and can help detect any abnormal rhythms or changes in the heart's structure.
  • Echocardiogram: An echocardiogram uses ultrasound waves to create images of your heart's structure and function. This test can help detect any abnormalities in the heart muscle, such as thickening or enlargement.
  • Blood tests: Blood tests check for specific markers of heart damage and dysfunction, such as elevated troponin levels or B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP).
  • Cardiac MRI or CT scan: These imaging tests can provide more detailed images of the heart's structure and function and may be used to diagnose specific types of cardiomyopathy.
  • Biopsy: In some cases, a small sample of the heart tissue may be removed and examined under a microscope to help diagnose certain types of cardiomyopathy.

If you are experiencing chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, or swelling in the legs, consult a Cardiologist promptly for a proper evaluation and diagnosis.

Treatment of Cardiomyopathy | When to Consult a Doctor

Cardiomyopathy treatment depends on the underlying cause and the specific type of cardiomyopathy. Treatment goals are to improve heart function, reduce symptoms, and prevent complications.

Here are some of the common treatments for cardiomyopathy:

  • Medications: Your doctor may prescribe medications to help improve heart function, reduce blood pressure, control heart rhythm, or prevent blood clots. The type of medication will depend on the type and severity of your cardiomyopathy.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Making changes to your lifestyle can help improve your heart health and reduce symptoms of cardiomyopathy. It may include quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting regular exercise.
  • Implantable devices: In some cases, an implantable device such as a pacemaker, defibrillator, or ventricular assist device (VAD) can help manage heart function.
  • Surgery: In severe cases of cardiomyopathy, surgery may be necessary to remove damaged tissue or implant a heart transplant.
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation: Cardiac rehabilitation is a supervised exercise program that can help improve heart function and reduce symptoms.

It is essential to work closely with your Cardiologist to determine the best course of treatment for your case of cardiomyopathy. Follow-up appointments and monitoring of your condition may also be necessary to ensure that treatment is working effectively.