The “broken heart” syndrome was discovered in the ’90s. Until now, doctors thought patients could recover by themselves. It seems that the broken heart does not just affect the morale. According to a recent study by physicians at the British University of Aberdeen, heart muscle is also affected in the long run. Fifty-two patients participated in this study for four months. The results show that the effects of emotional shock last.
All patients had “broken heart” syndrome, 92% of them were women, and the average age was 66 years. They have been subjected to several ultrasounds and scans during their monitoring. The conclusion is clear. Physicians have been able to see that the syndrome has permanently affected the heart pumping system. Small scars were visible on the heart muscle.
The consequences are serious; traces on the surface of the muscle reduce the elasticity of the heart and prevent it from contracting properly. The left ventricle changes its shape, the muscle weakens and fails with less success than usual to pump blood into the body.
“Tako-tsubo” or “broken heart” syndrome was discovered in Japan in the 1990s and is a stress cardiomyopathy. “We thought people suffering from Tako-tsubo cardiomyopathy could recover without medical intervention,” admits Dana Dawson, a researcher at the University of Aberdeen and lead author of the study. “We have shown that this disease causes damage for much longer than we thought,” she admitted, in a statement given by the university.
“There is no long-term treatment for patients suffering from it, because it was erroneously believed that they would be completely restored,” regrets Jeremy Pearson.