Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle that makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood efficiently. It is a leading cause of heart failure and is associated with an increased risk of death. This article reviews the epidemiology, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and management of cardiomyopathy.

Cardiomyopathy is a major cause of morbidity and mortality, affecting over 26 million people worldwide. It is estimated that 1 in 500 people in the United States have cardiomyopathy. The highest incidence is seen in people aged 40-60 years. It is more common in men than women.

Cardiomyopathy is caused by a variety of factors, including genetic defects, viral infections, metabolic disorders, and toxins. The most common type of cardiomyopathy is dilated cardiomyopathy, which is caused by a weakened and stretched heart muscle leading to a decrease in the heart’s ability to pump blood. The other types of cardiomyopathy are hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, restrictive cardiomyopathy, and arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy.

Clinical Manifestations
The most common symptom of cardiomyopathy is shortness of breath, which is usually worse with exercise. Other symptoms include fatigue, chest pain, palpitations, and dizziness.

The diagnosis of cardiomyopathy is based on a physical examination, electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, and cardiac MRI.

The treatment of cardiomyopathy depends on the type of cardiomyopathy, the severity of symptoms, and the patient’s overall health. Treatment may include lifestyle modifications, medications, and/or surgery.

Cardiomyopathy is a serious condition associated with an increased risk of death. It is important for healthcare providers to be aware of the epidemiology, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and management of cardiomyopathy in order to provide appropriate care for patients.


American Heart Association. (2020). Cardiomyopathy. Retrieved from

Pereira, A. C., & Sharma, S. (2017). Cardiomyopathy: Epidemiology, diagnosis, and management. European Heart Journal, 38(15), 1144-1153. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehx220

Scroll to Top