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Cardiomyopathy occurs when the muscle wall of your heart stretches and weakens, or thickens and weakens. The weakened heart muscle has problems pumping blood to your body.

This disease can be caused by a virus (germ), heart attack, severe high blood pressure or by drinking too much alcohol. Sometimes the cause is unknown or inherited (in your family history).



Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Helping Your Heart, fourth edition, cvs-ahc-90648

First published: 10/04/2002
Last updated: 06/01/2007

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts