Heart muscle2

Heart muscle

Your heart is the hardest working muscle in your body. Heart muscle disease, or cardiomyopathy, can cause its walls to change shape. They can grow thicker, a condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or they can stretch and thin, something called dilated cardiomyopathy. When this happens, the heart can’t pump blood around your body as effectively.

Symptoms include chest pain and palpitations, although some people don’t experience any at all. If a heart muscle disease is untreated, there is a small risk of cardiac arrest, when the heart is unable to beat properly.

Some cardiomyopathy is inherited. Genetic testing means you can find out whether you might be likely to develop a heart muscle disease — and get the treatment you need to manage it.