Cardiomyopathy is a group of diseases that affect the heart muscle. Early on there may be few or no symptoms. Some people may have shortness of breath, feel tired, or have swelling of the legs due to heart failure. An irregular heart beat may occur as well as fainting. Those affected are at an increased risk of sudden cardiac death.
Types of cardiomyopathy include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, dilated cardiomyopathy, restrictive cardiomyopathy, arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia, and broken heart syndrome. In hypertrophic cardiomyopathy the heart muscle enlarges and thickens. In dilated cardiomyopathy the ventricles enlarge and weaken. In restrictive cardiomyopathy the ventricle stiffens.