What is cardiomyopathy?

Ask the doctor

Q. A friend was just diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. What causes this problem, and what is the prognosis?

A. In simple terms, cardiomyopathy refers to abnormal heart muscle. Some cases are mild and require no treatment. But in other cases, the condition causes severe symptoms (such as breathing difficulty and leg swelling) and leads to serious complications. Cardiomyopathy is one of many possible causes of heart failure, which happens when the heart is unable to pump well enough to meet the body's need for oxygen-carrying blood.

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