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Should I get tested for cardiomyopathy???
lcover posted:

Over 20 years ago, my father had a sudden diagnosis of idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy and had a heart transplant at age 45 (my age now). He lived an additional seven years thankfully before his heart gave out.

My question is, should I get tested for it?

I've wondered this in the past, but I'm concerned more now because I have had a chronic cough for over a year and most recently have been getting swelling in my ankles. I have also recently had instances where I've been winded going up my stairs at home. Not a lot, but it's happened a few times.

I also have rheumatoid arthritis and I just had a chest x-ray last week. Rheumatologist said my lungs and heart looked good (no enlargement) or damage from the RA.

Looking for any advice, feedback or experiences.

billh99 responded:
My personal thought is anytime that you have symptoms that concern you enough to start asking question about it is time that you get it checked out.

But start with your PCP. It might some other heart problem or something completely different. But tell your doctor of your family history.

BTW, my father has a massive heart attack at 43 and died 9 months later. When I reached that age I started having anxiety and GI problems, but not heart.

It was not until I reached 65 that I had enough blockage to show symptoms.
cardiostarusa1 responded:
Hi LC:

......"should I get tested for it?

Seems warranted.

"I also have rheumatoid arthritis and I just had a chest x-ray last week. Rheumatologist said my lungs and heart looked good (no enlargement) or damage from the RA."

A routine chest X-ray (CXR) offers limited cardiac-diagnostics.

*** Important L@@k Back in the Media about RA ***

Science Daily archives

Mayo Clinic

Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients At Higher Risk For Unrecognized Heart Disease And Cardiac Sudden Death

People with rheumatoid arthritis not only have a higher risk of coronary heart disease than those in the general population, but they have more silent, unrecognized heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths, according to a Mayo Clinic study published in the February issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Have Double The Risk Of Heart Failure

Mayo Clinic researchers have found that rheumatoid arthritis patients have twice the risk of heart failure, or a weakening of the heart's ability to pump blood, as those without rheumatoid arthritis, according to a new study to be published in the February edition of the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism. About one-third of the rheumatoid arthritis patients studied developed heart failure over 30 years of the disease.

Best of luck down the road of life.

Take care,


WebMD member (since 8/99)



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Be a questioning patient. TALK to your DOCTOR and ASK QUESTIONS. Studies show that patients who ask the most questions, and are most assertive, get the best results. Be vigilant and speak up!"

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James Beckerman, MD, FACC responded:
It is reasonable to screen with an echocardiogram in first-degree relatives (i.e. children!) of people with a history of dilated cardiomyopathy, particularly if it occurs at a young age.
lcover replied to James Beckerman, MD, FACC's response:
Thanks Dr. Beckerman, I appreciate the response from you and the others.

I asked my general physician about it years ago and she said it wasn't necessary. So I've never really been sure if I should.

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FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information, visit the Duke Health General and Consultative Heart Care Center