Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy is a weakening of the left ventricle, the heart’s main pumping chamber. Symptoms are similar to a heart attack. According to Harvard Medical School in the US, 90 per cent of reported cases are in women aged 58-75.
Although the exact cause isn’t known, the journal Circulation reports that in 85 per cent of cases, the condition is triggered by an emotionally or physically stressful event. This includes bereavement, a relationship break-up, a job loss or an occurence that provokes extreme fear.
Physical stressors include asthma or surgery. For instance, Adelaide woman Maxie Walker experienced Takotsubo while awaiting a colonoscopy.
The condition is temporary and reversible and the recurrence rate is about 7 to 11 per cent. It’s important to get the correct diagnosis, however, as treatments such as that used for heart attack victims can be harmful.
For more information, go to australianheartresearch.com.au