Enlarged heart: What are the causes?

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Enlarged heart: What are the causes?

Question

What causes an enlarged heart?

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No state given

Answer

Enlarged heart (cardiomegaly) is not a disease but a sign of an underlying problem. It can have many causes, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart valve disorders
  • Weakness of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy)
  • Severe anemia
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Excessive iron in the body (hemochromatosis)
  • Abnormal protein buildup in an organ (amyloidosis)

In some people, an enlarged heart causes no signs or symptoms. Others may experience:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
  • Swelling (edema)

Treatment is directed at the underlying cause of enlarged heart.

Last Updated: 03/27/2007
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