A member asked:

Is there a difference between alcoholic cardiomyopathy and congestive cardiomyopathy?

8 doctors weighed in across 3 answers
Dr. Jeff Blixt answered

Specializes in Addiction Medicine

See below: Alcohol cardiomyopathy is a type of cardiomyopathy. Other causes can include viral, from heart disease, from hypertension or congenital cardiomyopathy. Alcohol can have a direct toxic effect on the heart muscle itself causing it to enlarge become weak and cause congestion. These other causes may have similar symptoms as well.

Answered 4/8/2016



Yes: There are 2 major kinds of cardiomyopathy, which literally means disease of heart muscle. One is obstructive (asymmetric septal hypertrophy or ash), and the other is congestive, where heart muscle is weakened and fluid backs up into the lungs and body (congestive heart failure). Alcohol is one kind of congestive cardiomyopathy - others are viral, post-pregnancy, and toxin-related.

Answered 2/4/2013



Yes and no.: Alcohol causes direct toxicity to the heart and can cause weakening of the heart. This can cause fluid retention and congestion. However, there are other types of heart weakening which can cause congestion. Sometimes the weakening from alcohol improves after someone stops drinking.

Answered 12/2/2014



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