COVID-19 Impacts The Number Of “Broken Heart Syndrome” Cases

COVID-19 Impacts The Number Of “Broken Heart Syndrome” Cases
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What Is Takotsubo?

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is a rare but serious condition that occurs when the heart muscle gets overly relaxed. It’s commonly known as “broken heart syndrome” or “broken heart disease.”

The condition’s name comes from takotsubo, a Japanese word for “pot-bellied pot,” referring to the pot shape of the heart that’s common for takotsubo cardiomyopathy. The condition is relatively rare. About 1 in 5,000 people worldwide develop it each year, according to the American Heart Association. The condition often strikes women, typically between the ages of 40 and 60, and it usually affects only one heart.

These symptoms occur when the left ventricle (the upper chamber of the heart) becomes damaged due to a “tsunami-like” surge of stress hormones. The condition is most frequently triggered by extreme emotional or physical stress, such as the death of a loved one or severe illness. But it can also develop as a result of physical inactivity, sleep deprivation, excessive eating, or certain medications, such as beta-blockers.

New research

Recent research in the Journal of the United States Heart Association revealed striking correlations between ages, and sex associated with a disease. The paper evaluated trends in the unique heart conditions. The team of scientists was led by Dr. Susan Cheng. 

“There is likely a tipping point, just beyond midlife, where an excess response to stress can impact the heart. Women in this situation are especially affected, and the risk seems to be increasing,” explained Dr.Cheng.

In comparison with 96 instances per million per annum, the figure for female elderly and 15 cases for younger women is increased by 128% each year, according to the research and Takotsubo, amongst middle-aged women. The figure of 88% is 88% female. The incidence rate also climbed among men, although significantly lower.

The fact that the disease has grown more known in healthcare circles and that the imaging methodologies to detect it – echocardiographs – have been much more sophisticated and approachable over recent decades is one of the probable causes for a general upward trend.

What is more, the pandemic has also led to a rise in the number of cases:

There appears to be an association between stress-induced cardiomyopathy and COVID-19 in both the general population reeling from the adverse psychosocial effects of the pandemic and in COVID-19 patients.


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Anna Daniels

Anna is an avid blogger with an educational background in medicine and mental health. She is a generalist with many other interests including nutrition, women's health, astronomy and photography. In her free time from work and writing, Anna enjoys nature walks, reading, and listening to jazz and classical music.

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