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Can you die for love? This is the broken-heart syndrome

It seems that the popular expression "died of grief" is not so figurative: broken-heart syndrome is a heart condition caused by high levels of stress

Can you die for love? This is the broken-heart syndrome

According to a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology in mid-2009, broken-heart syndrome or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is a heart condition caused by an increase in the level of hormones related to stress, such as adrenaline.

Leer en español: ¿Es posible morir de amor? Conoce el síndrome del corazón roto

"It is a variety of myocardial infarction, which occurs almost exclusively in women and was recognized worldwide in Japan in 1990. It is a heart attack that is not really a heart attack, but the sudden appearance of hormones in the presence of a stress," explained cardiologist Carlos Ingino in an interview with Infobae.

According to El Financiero, these stressful events cause the coronary arteries of the heart to be compressed and to take a form similar to a vessel. In addition, the heart loses strength in the capacity of pumping and gives similar manifestations to those of a heart attack. The most recurrent symptoms that occur due to Takotsubo cardiomyopathy are:

  • Acute chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Excessive sweating
  • Arrhythmia
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • High pressure and anxiety

You can also read: Discover how to prevent heart diseases

In this sense, stressful events cause the left ventricle of the heart to deform slightly causing a narrowing of the coronary arteries and the area to take a shape similar to this vessel. Thus, the heart loses strength in the capacity of pumping and, finally, it gives manifestations similar to those of a heart attack.

The Mayo Clinic raises, as possible triggers of the broken heart syndrome, the following: news about the unexpected death of a loved one, a terrifying medical diagnosis, domestic abuse, losing or even making a lot of money, strong arguments, a surprise party, having to act in public, lose employment, divorce, physical stress factors such as an asthma attack, a car accident or a complex surgery.

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Which are the risk factors?

There are a number of known risk factors for broken-heart syndrome: sex, as the disorder most often affects women; the age, in most cases over 50 years; psychiatric disorders such as anxiety or depression; and a history of a neurological disorder, such as head injuries or seizures.

Contrary to the procedures that are frequently used to treat heart attacks, broken-heart syndrome is treated with medications such as enzyme inhibitors to reduce the workload of this organ while it recovers in its entirety.

LatinAmerican Post | Luisa Fernanda Báez

Translated from "¿Es posible morir de amor? Conoce el síndrome del corazón roto"

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