Study shows that heartbreaks cause as much damage as heart attacks to the cardiac muscles.
Did you suffer from heartbreak? Well, a new study says that suffering heartbreak can cause as much long-term damage to health as cardiac arrest.
About 3,000 Britons a year suffer from the ‘broken heart syndrome’ or the takotsubo syndrome, which, it turns out mostly, affects women.
According to a research, the heart muscle can get damaged due to the sudden rush of hormones that are caused by emotionally stressful events such as the death of a loved one, a divorce, betrayal or romantic rejection. In extreme cases, it can also lead to the death of an individual, which strangely, can also be brought on by positive events such as a lottery win.
Until now, it was thought that the heart can heal but as it turns out the heartbreak is very real indeed. This has been further substantiated by the research published in the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography who says that the muscle actually suffers damage.
This could explain why sufferers tend to have a similar life expectancy to those who have suffered a heart attack.
It turns our that the syndrome, which is called takotsubo was named after the Japanese word which means ‘octopus pot’, because the heart’s lower chamber has a similar shape to that of a fishing pot.
A team from the Aberdeen University, funded by the British Heart Foundation followed the takotsubo patients for a period of a few months, finding out results through ultrasound and cardiac MRI scans.
They showed that the condition permanently affected the heart’s pumping motion, delaying the twisting motion made by the heart as it beats. They found that the heart’s squeezing motion was also reduced while parts of the muscle suffered scarring that then affected the elasticity of the heart and stopped it contracting properly.
The results showed the condition permanently affected the heart’s pumping motion, delaying the twisting or ‘wringing’ motion made by the heart as it beats.
The heart’s squeezing motion was also reduced, while parts of the muscle suffered scarring that then affected the elasticity of the heart and stopped it contracting properly.
Professor Metin Avkiran, of the British Heart Foundation, said: ‘This study has shown that in some patients who develop takotsubo syndrome various aspects of heart function remain abnormal for up to four months afterwards.
‘Worryingly, these patients’ hearts appear to show a form of scarring, indicating that full recovery may take much longer, or indeed may not occur, with current care.
‘This highlights the need to urgently find new and more effective treatments for this devastating condition.’