BROKENHEART SYN­DROME

Sunday Herald Sun - Body and Soul - - MY STORY -

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

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