Cardiomyopathy weakens the heart muscle. Cardiomyopathy is caused by disorders that affect the heart's structure, function, and pumping ability.

Cardiomyopathy varies. Usually in middle-aged men after a heart attack or coronary artery disease.

Symptoms – Shortness of breath with exertion. – Swollen feet, ankles and legs. – Tiredness and fatigue. – Difficulty lying flat – Dizziness and lightheadedness. – Heart palpitations. – Chest pain. – Fainting or syncope. – High blood pressure.

Types and Causes Dilated cardiomyopathy The American Heart Association says this most often affects 20-to-60-year-olds. Top causes include heart attack, heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy This any-age condition runs in families. AHA: 500,000 Americans have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy The 1990-discovered condition is caused by stress that weakens the left ventricle. It's linked to emotional events and stress hormone spikes, like a spouse's death or a surprise party.

Peripartum cardiomyopathy This happens during or after pregnancy. Dr. Melinda Davis, a cardiologist at Michigan Medicine's Frankel Cardiovascular Center, says it's a type of cardiomyopathy linked to pregnancy.

Restricted cardiomyopathy In this rare cardiomyopathy, rigid ventricle walls prevent the heart from expanding during contractions.