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Cardiomyopathy (literally heart muscle disease) is the measurable deterioration of the function of the myocardium (the heart muscle) for any reason usually leading to heart failure; common symptoms are dyspnea (breathlessness) and peripheral edema (swelling of the legs). People with cardiomyopathy are often at risk of dangerous forms of irregular heart beat and sudden cardiac death. The most common form of cardiomyopathy is dilated cardiomyopathy.