Risk factorsBy Mayo Clinic staff
You may have a greater risk of developing an enlarged heart if you have any of the following risk factors:
- High blood pressure. Having a blood pressure measurement higher than 140/90 millimeters of mercury puts you at an increased risk of developing an enlarged heart.
- A family history of enlarged heart or cardiomyopathy. If an immediate family member, such as a parent or sibling, has had an enlarged heart, you may be more susceptible to developing an enlarged heart.
- Blocked arteries in your heart (coronary artery disease). If you have coronary artery disease, fatty plaques in the arteries of your heart make it so blood can't easily flow through the vessels of your heart. Sometimes this leads to a heart attack, where a section of heart muscle dies. If this happens, your heart has to pump harder to get an adequate amount of blood to the rest of your body, causing it to enlarge.
- Congenital heart disease. If you're born with a condition that affects the structure of your heart, you may be at risk for developing an enlarged heart, especially if your condition isn't treated.
- Valvular heart disease. The heart has four valves — the aortic, mitral, pulmonary and tricuspid valves — that open and close to direct blood flow through your heart. Valves may be damaged by a variety of conditions leading to narrowing (stenosis), leaking (regurgitation or insufficiency) or improper closing (prolapse). Any of these conditions may cause the heart to enlarge.
- Heart attack. Having a heart attack increases your risk of developing an enlarged heart.
- Enlarged heart. American Heart Association. http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4517. Accessed Dec. 9, 2010.
- Cardiomyopathies. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec07/ch084666/ch084666a.html. Accessed Dec. 9, 2010.
- What is cardiomyopathy? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/cm/cm_all.html. Accessed Dec. 9, 2010.
- Cardiomegaly on chest X-ray. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00065-2--s0020&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&sid=1093880434&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00065-2--s0020&uniqId=229713866-3#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00065-2--s0020. Accessed Dec. 9, 2010.
- Grogan M (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 3, 2011.