Cardiomyopathy: What is it?

An estimated 12,000+ Australians live with this disease of the heart muscle, but up until now we haven't heard much about it. The Cardiomyopathy Association of Australia (CMAA) wants to change that, by raising awareness of the condition and offering sufferers a support network and up-to-date information and educational material.

There are four types of Cardiomyopathy: Dilated, Hypertrophic, Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular and Restrictive. Symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue or lethargy, palpitaions, fainting attacks and sometimes chest pains.

Cardiomyopathy cannot be reversed, but most people with the condition live a normal life span. Careful management can produce good long-term results.

CMAA member Margot's story is an inspiration to many. In 1984, at the age of 54, she was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy and given six months to live. She has continued to live a full life through improvements in medication, good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.
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