Cardiomegaly isn’t a disease, but rather a medical term that refers to an enlarged heart. Typically, cardiomegaly is a sign of another condition such a heart disease or a heart valve problem. It may also be an indication that the affected person previously suffered a heart attack and now has an enlarged heart as a result of stress and damage.
The effect of an enlarged heart on a person’s life expectancy depends on a variety of factors, including the underlying cause of the condition. If appropriate treatment is given promptly, the heart may return to a normal size. In some cases, however, the heart may never return to normal size and treatment may serve to simply prevent it from continuing to enlarge.
An enlarged heart may be caused by short-term stress on the body, such as a medical condition, coronary artery disease, weakening of the heart muscle, or pregnancy. Any condition that causes the heart to pump harder than it usually does can potentially lead to cardiomegaly.
Cardiomegaly can also occur due to a congenital heart condition (one that you’re born with). It can happen if you have high blood pressure, fluid around your heart, blocked arteries in your heart, or heart valve disease. Excessive iron in the body and rare disease can also affect your heart and cause it to become enlarged.