Broken Heart Syndrome May Have Longer-Lasting Damaging Effects Than Previously Thought, New Study Reveals

First Posted: Jun 20, 2017 04:14 AM EDT

A new study reveals that the "broken heart syndrome" or also referred to as takotsubo syndrome may have longer-lasting damaging effects on the heart. This syndrome was thought the heart to recover in time. On the other hand, the new study indicates that it will have more long-term damage.

The study was printed in the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography. It was funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF). The study was led by researchers from the Aberdeen University, according to BBC News.

The broken heart syndrome is caused by severe emotional distress such as the death of a loved one or bereavement. It is thought that this syndrome could cause temporary heart failure. In the U.K., about 3,000 people suffer from this syndrome each year. It mostly affects women than men.

The study involved 52 people diagnosed with takotsubo syndrome. The researchers have examined them over the course of four months. They looked at how their hearts were functioning by using ultrasound and cardiac MRI scans. The results suggest that the condition permanently altered the pumping motion of the heart, delaying the twisting by the heart during a heartbeat.

They also found that the heart's squeezing motion was also reduced. Meanwhile, some parts of the heart muscle suffered scarring that had an impact on the elasticity of the heart. This inhibited the heart from contracting properly, according to Mirror.

Dr. Dana Dawson, the lead author of the study and the reader in cardiovascular medicine at the University of Aberdeen, said that they used to think that people who suffered from takotsubo cardiomyopathy would likely recover fully without medication. On the other hand, they have shown that this condition has much longer-lasting damaging effects on the hearts of those who suffer from it.

The figures indicate that between 3 percent and 17 percent of patients die within five years of diagnosis. The stress trigger is seen in about 70 percent cases. Experts urge the need to find effective treatments for this damaging condition. 

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