People of all ages and races can have cardiomyopathy. However, certain types of the disease are more common in certain groups.
Dilated cardiomyopathy is more common in African Americans than Whites. This type of the disease also is more common in men than women.
Teens and young adults are more likely than older people to have arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia, although it's rare in both groups.
Major Risk Factors
Certain diseases, conditions, or factors can raise your risk for cardiomyopathy. Major risk factors include:
- A family history of cardiomyopathy, heart failure, or sudden cardiac arrest (SCA)
- A disease or condition that can lead to cardiomyopathy, such as coronary heart disease, heart attack, or a viral infection that inflames the heart muscle
- Diabetes or other metabolic diseases, or severe obesity
- Diseases that can damage the heart, such as hemochromatosis, sarcoidosis, or amyloidosis
- Long-term alcoholism
- Long-term high blood pressure
Some people who have cardiomyopathy never have signs or symptoms. Thus, it's important to identify people who may be at high risk for the disease. This can help prevent future problems, such as serious arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) or SCA.