Our father died of cardiomyopathy. Could this be hereditary / a concern for my sister and me?

My sister has been told she has a left branch bundle blockage. My father died from cardiomyopathy at age 56. Could this be hereditary and are the odds favorable that it is?

Submitted by Michelle from Georgia on 04/27/2016

by Guilherme V. Silva, MD

There are multiple causes for cardiomyopathy which is a term that cardiologists use to denote disease of the heart muscle. The most common causes are hypertension and coronary disease (blockages in the blood supply to the heart muscle). So the first thing is to investigate if your father had any of the above mentioned conditions. If not (and many other diseases have been ruled out), then we are left with a possible hereditary issues that can be studied by a specialist in genetics and specialist in idiopathic cardiomyopathy. The name idiopathic means that doctors don’t know where it is coming from.
You definitely need to see a good cardiologist close to you to get an opinion. Start with the process of investigating what happened to your father and how your heart is doing right now.
Hope that helps.