Skip to Content
Rush-Copley Medical Group
Home > Health & Fitness > Healthwise > Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy
Alcoholic cardiomyopathy is caused by long-term alcohol abuse. It is a type of dilated cardiomyopathy. The
heart muscle is weakened and cannot pump blood efficiently, leading to heart
failure. Alcohol in excessive quantities has a directly toxic effect on heart
Symptoms are the result of heart failure and include fatigue,
shortness of breath, swelling, and cough. Muscular weakness may also be present
because of the effect of alcohol on muscles (alcoholic myopathy).
Treatment includes quitting drinking. Quitting drinking often results in improved heart function. Continued alcohol
consumption, on the other hand, will continue to make heart failure worse.
Treatment also often includes standard treatment for heart failure, such as
lifestyle changes and medicines.
Other Works Consulted
Mestroni L, et al. (2011). Dilated cardiomyopathies. In V Fuster et al., eds., Hurst's the Heart, 13th ed., vol. 1, pp. 821–836. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Current as of:
March 12, 2014
Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & George Philippides, MD - Cardiology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Retrieving newsletters from the Web service...
Sorry, the newsletter Web service is unavailable at this time.
You have signed up for the selected newsletters.
© Copyright 2015 Rush-Copley Medical Center • 2000 Ogden Avenue; Aurora, IL 60504
Main: 630-978-6200 • Physician Referral & Information: 630-978-6700 or 866-4COPLEY (866-426-7539)