Cardiomyopathy is a weakness of the heart muscle. It has many causes and often leads to heart failure when the needs of the body are not met by the weakened heart. It is estimated that 300,000 Australians are living with heart failure.
Not all people with Cardiomyopathy develop symptoms of heart failure.
Heart failure symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue and fluid retention causing swelling of the ankles, legs and abdomen. Sometimes the first symptom of Cardiomyopathy is a racing heart and the person is shocked by the diagnosis as they suffered no other symptoms.
Now with improved medications and devices such as implanted defibrillators people are living for many years and with better quality of life. Self management with the assistance of a heart failure team and General Practitioner is an important part of improving these outcomes.
These ‘Speaking from Experience' video clips feature nine people, including two partners, discussing how Cardiomyopathy has impacted the various aspects of their life and how they have managed it. They were produced in partnership with the Cardiomyopathy Association of Australia and The Royal Melbourne Hospital.
Produced Feb 2011