Cases of “broken heart syndrome” have been on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What’s new: Multiple medical experts and health professionals have noted a rise in Takotsubo cardiomyopathy — also known as “broken heart syndrome” — since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to ABC News.
- The medical condition, though rare, is dangerous as it is a form of heart disease that can be caused by emotional and physical stress.
- “A sudden flood of hormones is believed to stun the heart into pumping less efficiently,” ABC News reports.
Quote: “I don’t know how much we can really blame COVID, or how much of this is that we’re just recognizing more of it,” Dr. Noel Bairey Merz, director of the Barbra Streisand Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai, told “Good Morning America” on Monday.
- “But heart disease is the leading killer of women and all ages, including teenagers, midlife women and older women. This is just a component of that major killer. So it’s really something that needs to be addressed.”
The bigger picture: Researchers at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins all noted a rise in cases during the pandemic.
- Per Fox News, Smidt Heart Institute published research in the Journal of the American Heart Association that showed “broken heart syndrome” had become more common as the coronavirus outbreak began.
Yes, but: The researchers noted that cases had been on the rise before the pandemic, too. They reviewed national hospital data for more than 135,000 men and women from 2006 to 2017 to reach that conclusion, according to Fox News.
What to know: There is no treatment for “broken heart syndrome.”
- “Treatment is similar to heart attack treatment until the diagnosis is clear. Most people stay in the hospital while they recover,” per the Mayo Clinic.
- Many who suffer from “broken heart syndrome” recover in about a month.
- Most patients need an echocardiogram within four to six weeks to measure if the issue has been resolved.
A 2014 study from the University of Aberdeen also found there isn’t a surefire cure for “broken heart syndrome.”