A bro­ken heart has last­ing ef­fects sim­i­lar to a heart at­tack

The Star Early Edition - - HEALTH -

A CON­DI­TION known as “bro­ken heart syn­drome” may leave longer last­ing dam­age than pre­vi­ously thought, ex­perts say.

Around 3 000 peo­ple a year in the UK suf­fer from Takot­subo syn­drome, which can be trig­gered by se­vere emo­tional dis­tress, such as the death of a loved one.

Symp­toms are sim­i­lar to a heart at­tack and the con­di­tion, which mostly af­fects women, is usu­ally di­ag­nosed in hospi­tal.

Un­til now it was thought the heart fully re­cov­ered from the syn­drome, but new re­search sug­gests the mus­cle ac­tu­ally suf­fers long-term dam­age.

Peo­ple with the syn­drome only tend to have the same life ex­pectancy as those who suf­fer a heart at­tack.

The re­search was pub­lished in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can So­ci­ety of Echocar­dio­g­ra­phy.

A team from the Univer­sity of Aberdeen fol­lowed 52 Takot­subo pa­tients over the course of four months. They used ul­tra­sound and car­diac MRI scans to look at how the pa­tients’ hearts were func­tion­ing.

The re­sults showed that the syn­drome per­ma­nently af­fected the heart’s pump­ing mo­tion, de­lay­ing the twist­ing or “wring­ing” mo­tion made by the heart dur­ing a heart­beat.

The heart’s squeez­ing mo­tion was also re­duced, while parts of the heart mus­cle suf­fered scar­ring, which af­fected the elas­tic­ity of the heart and pre­vented it from con­tract­ing prop­erly. – The In­de­pen­dent

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