Broken Valentines

Timely Advice.

Broken heart syndrome occurs during highly stressful or emotional times, such as divorce, the death of a spouse, a serious medical diagnosis or significant financial problems, said Loyola University Health System cardiologist Sara Sirna, MD.

Broken heart syndrome also is known as stress-induced cardiomyopathy, Takosubo’s cardiomyopathy or transient apical ballooning syndrome. The underlying cause is not known but is thought to be secondary to the release of adrenalin and other stress hormones that have a deleterious effect on the heart.

Symptoms typically include chest pain and difficulty breathing, and can easily be mistaken for a heart attack. Broken heart syndrome typically occurs in patients older than 50 and is more common in women, although it also can occur in younger women and men.

“Like a heart attack, broken heart syndrome can be very alarming to patients,” Dr. Sirna said. “But unlike a heart attack, broken heart syndrome usually is reversible, with no long-lasting effects on the heart muscle. Most affected individuals regain cardiac function within a short period of time.”

It’s often difficult to tell the difference between broken heart syndrome and a heart attack. Thus, if you experience symptoms such as chest pain and difficulty breathing, don’t assume you’re having broken heart syndrome, call emergency, Dr. Sirna said.

Dr. Sirna is a professor in the Division of Cardiology of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Her specialties include women’s health, preventive cardiology and clinical cardiology. Dr. Sirna is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology.


 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s