Yes, yes, yes, it is true! a broken heart syndrome does happen! In movies and in real life also. A broken heart is real. It exists.
It is happening to our loved ones. Another baggage from coronavirus.
We know what broken heart means for Romeo and Juliet in Shakespeare’s Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet but what is broken heart's syndrome anyway?
Broken heart syndrome is a serious condition of heart perpetuated in pandemic according to experts. People suffering from psychological, social, and economic stress since the beginning of 2020. These adverse factors resulted in broken heart syndrome.
According to a recently published report at JAMA open Network states rising cases of stress cardiomyopathy-medical name for broken heart syndrome.
It is also referred to as Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. This broken heart syndrome is taking a toll on people’s lives along with fear of coronavirus.
The syndrome presents symptoms of the acute coronary syndrome (ACS) or multiple other signs indicating suddenly reduced blood flow to the heart.
Cleveland based Clinical cardiologist in the Sections of Invasive and Interventional Cardiology and Regional Cardiovascular Medicine, Ankur Kalra, MD, reveals the reasons behind the increasing number of broken heart patients in the country.
The obvious reason is the presence of Covid-19 in our lives, increasing stress on all levels.
According to Kalra, ‘people are not only worried about themselves or their families becoming ill, but they are also dealing with economic and emotional issues, societal problems and potential loneliness and isolation,’
“The stress can have physical effects on our bodies and our hearts, as evidenced by the increasing diagnoses of stress cardiomyopathy we are experiencing.”
The study which examined the data of two different Clinics of Cleveland hospitals showed quite interesting and new facts about the patient data suffering from a broken heart.
There are patients who suffered from acute cardiomyopathy admitted to hospital in Cleveland at the peak of Covid-19 pandemic, with four other time periods also mentioned (March-April 2020), along with four other control time periods in the pre-pandemic days (March-April 2018, January-February 2019, March-April 2019, and January-February 2020).
Researchers identified a total of 20 cases of stress cardiomyopathy during the coronavirus pandemic—a substantial increase compared to the 5 to 12 cases of stress cardiomyopathy during pre-covid19 times.
It should also be noted that all patients during the COVID-19 pandemic tested negative for coronavirus.
Moreover, patients who suffered from stress-related broken heart syndrome stayed in the hospital for a longer period of time as compared to patients who suffered from COVID-19 during the pandemic.
It is quite evident from the research that increased stress levels due to the physical, emotional, and economic crisis have put everyone on the verge to collapse. Even the strong-minded people are suffering from anxiety and panic disorders.
The Cleveland Clinic press release reveals that Broken Heart symptoms are tricky, they mimic the symptoms of a heart attack but it is usually not dangerous and can be treated also.
The symptoms are not fully understood by the cardiologists but it has historical facts rooted in Japanese medical literature as Takotsubo cardiomyopathy as Dr. Richard Stein, MD, a cardiologist and professor at the New York University School of Medicine mentioned in his interview to Health, an online magazine.
It is still a mystery for cardiologists regarding Broken Heart syndrome’s symptoms but it is quite sure that increased levels of stress in the body triggers broken heart symptoms in patients who are, probably, facing traumatic and stressful events in life.
The body releases stress hormones that hinder the ability of the heart to pump for some time.
In other words, it could be taken as a temporarily shut down of the heart’s pumping system. Thus, resulting in reduced blood flow to the heart, it makes the heart tired and weak.
The American Heart Association has also revealed another important truth about the syndrome that it happens more in women as compare to men because women feelings are stronger than men on emotional levels.
That is why women are suffering from cardiomyopathy on losing a loved one, illness, losing job or divorce.
Fortunately, patients with broken heart syndrome normally improve in few days or weeks. The condition is naturally treatable with heart medications to lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate while managing stress levels in body.
Pandemic has posed many health challenges among which is mental health.
To avoid facing the music one should take great care of mental health during lockdown.
It can only be done with positive and forward-looking thinking, regular exercise, and some creative pursuit to keep stress at bay.
It is a message from Grant Reed, MD, director of Cleveland Clinic that “While the pandemic continues to evolve, self-care during this difficult time is critical to our heart health, and our overall health,”
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