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Cardiomyopathy is a disorder in which the heart loses its ability to pump blood effectively. Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy occurs when the muscle in the right ventricle is replaced with scar tissue, which disrupts the heart's electrical system and causes arrhythmias.

Causes and risk factors

Viral infections affecting the heart are one of the leading causes of cardiomyopathy. Other causes of the condition include:

  • Chemotherapy and other cancer treatments
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Genetic abnormalities
  • Medications
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Smoking
Sometimes the cause of cardiomyopathy is unknown.

This condition primarily affects teens and young adults, and it can lead to sudden cardiac arrest in young athletes. 


Symptoms include heart palpitations and fainting after physical activity. Other signs of a problem include:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Cough or congestion
  • Dizziness 
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Swelling of the legs or feet

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