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Is Ischemic Cardiomyopathy the Same as Heart Failure?

Is Ischemic Cardiomyopathy the Same as Heart Failure?

Is ischemic cardiomyopathy the same as heart failure? Read on to find out more about this disease, what causes it, its effects on your health, what you can do about it, and how it can be prevented.

What is ischemic cardiomyopathy?

Ischemic cardiomyopathy is a condition where the heart is unable to pump blood effectively throughout the body. This is mainly caused by reduced blood flow that’s going into the heart. The term ischemic means a reduction in blood flow, and cardiomyopathy refers to a disease that affects the pumping of the heart.

The usual culprit for this disease is atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries. These arteries are responsible for supplying fresh blood to the heart. Just like other organs in the body, our heart also needs blood in order to function properly.

If a person has atherosclerosis in these arteries, it can cause a narrowing or blockage of the arteries. This causes reduced blood flow to the heart, which leads to cardiomyopathy.

If left untreated, this disease can lead to serious complications, and even death. This is why it is important for people to be aware of this condition, know its signs, and know how to prevent it from happening.

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What are its symptoms?

In its initial stages, ischemic cardiomyopathy usually doesn’t show any outward symptoms. However, as the disease progresses, people with this disease can experience the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain, which can happen after eating large meals, or after vigorous exercise
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Sudden fatigue
  • Heart palpitations or a sensation that your heart is skipping or pounding
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Swelling in the feet or ankles

It’s also possible for patients with this type of cardiomyopathy to experience just some of the symptoms above. The symptoms typically vary from person to person, and depend on their current state of health as well as any preexisting conditions that they might have.

Is ischemic cardiomyopathy the same as heart failure?

With regard to the question of “Is ischemic cardiomyopathy the same as heart failure?”, the short answer is that no, it’s not the same thing. However, it should be known that if this type of cardiomyopathy is not treated, and if it progresses, then there is a high possibility that it could eventually lead to heart failure.

This is why it is important to be aware of the risk factors as well as preventive measures in order to avoid this type of cardiomyopathy.

What are the risk factors?

A number of things can increase a person’s risk factor for ischemic cardiomyopathy. Here are some of them:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Atherosclerosis
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Family history of ischemic cardiomyopathy

If you are at risk for cardiomyopathy, it is important to take precautionary measures even before the disease starts.

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How can it be prevented?

Here are some things that you can do in order to prevent or at the very least, lower your risk of ischemic cardiomyopathy:

Exercise daily

Daily exercise improves your heart health and can lower your risk for a number of cardiovascular diseases. Exercise can also help lower your bad cholesterol levels and helps control blood pressure, so it is important to engage in exercise daily.

Ideally, you need to exercise for at least 30 minutes daily in order to stay fit and healthy.

Eat a healthy diet

Having a healthy diet is also very important in lowering your risk of ischemic cardiomyopathy. Prioritize eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and avoid eating too many processed foods, sweet foods, and fatty foods.

It’s also important to keep track of your portions, as you need to control how much food you eat.

Get regular checkups

Regular checkups can help you and your doctor keep tabs on your health. If possible, have a full physical exam each year, so that you can monitor your health, as well as your progress if you’re making healthier lifestyle changes.

Manage your preexisting conditions

Lastly, if you have preexisting conditions such as diabetes or hypertension, it is important to keep them under control. Be sure to take your maintenance medication, and follow your doctors orders with regard to these conditions.

This way, you can lower the risk of complications that may arise, which can include ischemic cardiomyopathy.

Learn more about Cardiomyopathy here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Ischemic Cardiomyopathy – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf, https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.119.006006, Accessed April 19, 2021

Ischemic Cardiomyopathy | Aurora Health Care, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537301/, Accessed April 19, 2021

Ischemic Cardiomyopathy: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment, https://www.aurorahealthcare.org/services/heart-vascular/conditions/ischemic-cardiomyopathy, Accessed April 19, 2021

Ischemic Cardiomyopathy: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17145-ischemic-cardiomyopathy, Accessed April 19, 2021

Cardiomyopathy – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cardiomyopathy/symptoms-causes/syc-20370709, Accessed April 19, 2021

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Apr 30, 2021
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel