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Diseases & Conditions

Cardiomyopathy Overview

Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle that decreases heart's ability to pump blood. About 36,000 people in the United States are hospitalized each year with cardiomyopathy.* This condition is a major cause of heart failure.

Cardiomyopathy can be classified as primary or secondary and ischemic or nonischemic

  • Primary cardiomyopathy occurs in the absence of other cardiac conditions.
  • Secondary cardiomyopathy is caused by a known medical condition (such as hypertension, valve disease, congenital heart disease, or coronary artery disease).
  • Ischemic cardiomyopathy is caused by coronary artery disease and heart attacks. Lack of blood damages the heart muscle, causes damage to it, resulting in cardiomyopathy. Click here to learn more about coronary artery disease.
  • Nonischemic cardiomyopathy includes the four types of heart muscle disease listed below. These forms of cardiomyopathy are not related to coronary artery disease (poor coronary artery blood supply).

There are four types of nonischemic cardiomyopathy:

*According to American Heart Association Statistics, 2005 Update