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Cardiomyopathy Causes

The specific causes of cardiomyopathy are largely unknown, although researchers have identified several factors that may play a role in the development of this condition. These factors include:

  • A history of heart conditions
  • Long-term high blood pressure
  • Metabolic disorders like thyroid disease, diabetes, and obesity
  • A diet deficient in important vitamins, particularly vitamin B1 (thiamin)
  • Cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy
  • Excessive alcohol consumption over several years
  • Bacterial or viral infections that have weakened the heart
  • Use of drugs such as cocaine, anabolic steroids, and amphetamines
  • Complications from pregnancy

While some cases of cardiomyopathy are acquired, others are inherited. It is important to consult with a physician if you have a family history of heart disorders or have experienced symptoms associated with cardiomyopathy, including breathlessness, chest pain, and unexplained swelling in the stomach, legs, and/or feet. It is also important to note that cardiomyopathy can affect anyone at any age, including children and young adults.

To schedule an appointment with the Heart and Vascular Institute, call 813-844-3900 or email

No matter what causes a patient’s cardiomyopathy, Tampa General Hospital’s cardiac health specialists provide exceptional care that is tailored to each diagnosis. TGH has received disease-specific certification for heart failure and advanced certification for ventricular assist device services from The Joint Commission.