This information is useful for adults and older adults
A doctor holds up a stethoscope used to examine a patient who may have a cardiomyopathy.

Our hearts are made of highly elastic muscle that expand and contract over 115,200 times a day. However, sometimes the heart muscle can become rigid or thick, which makes it more difficult for the organ to pump blood out of the heart. This condition is called cardiomyopathy. 

Cardiomyopathy is often inherited, although it may be a result of issues including heart tissue damage from a heart attack, long-term high blood pressure, metabolic disorders including obesity and diabetes, nutritional deficiencies, and/or drug and alcohol abuse.

If untreated, cardiomyopathy can weaken the heart, leading to more serious conditions, including lessened blood flow, arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats), problems with the heart’s valves and heart failure. However, at the  Cardiomyopathy Inherited Cardiovascular Disease Program at Yale Medicine, we use cutting-edge technologies to diagnose the condition before it evolves to an advanced stage.