Whom ever is affected by “heartbreak” may suffer the same consequences of a heart attack. The syndrome heartbreak is not a benign disease as was previously thought, but it can lead to death. This is the conclusion of an international study conducted by several centers including the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart – Policlinico Gemelli in Rome. The mortality rate of the heartbreak syndrome can reach that of patients hospitalized for heart attack, 5%.

The broken heart syndrome is also known as the takotsubo syndrome: from diagnostic images of patients affected, the heart shows an altered form, like a balloon, like the pot (tsubo) that the Japanese use to collect octopus (tako). But the syndrome is also known as cardiomyopathy stress, a definition that says a little more about this condition: “The heartbreak syndrome is a clinical manifestation especially well described in patients who have experienced strong emotional stress such as bereavement, or physical stress, for example, after surgery to treat earlier disease.” says Dr. Maddalena cot, head of the Unit of Cardiology Heart Failure of Humanitas.

(For further information see here: Women, heart attack is more dangerous because they do not recognize the symptoms)

The broken heart syndrome affects mostly women with a very high ratio that is 9 women for one man. “The broken heart syndrome in many cases occur in association with psychiatric disorders such as depression or other disorders. Familiarity and predisposition are not of significant risk factors for the onset of this disease,” adds Dr. Maddalena cot.

(For further information see here: Women and heart, the diagnosis is difficult)

The study, published in the journal, New England Journal of Medicine, involved 26 centers in 9 countries in Europe and the United States, with examined data from 1,750 patients in order to evaluate their clinical features and results of treatment in use.


What are the symptoms of broken heart syndrome?

“The symptoms are similar to those of infarction, such as chest pain. However the coronary arteries do not present a closure, a narrowing, as in the case of the infarct, but the cardiac muscle contractile presents, however, the alterations. ”

(For further information see here: Heart: we hear but listen to him?)

What emerges from the research? “This research tells us that the evolution of a broken heart syndrome is similar to that of patients with heart attack and that further work is needed to better understand its causes. For example, if we could figure out why women are affected more often than men, we could better define treatment for the broken heart syndrome.” concluded Dr. cot.