Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy: "Broken Heart Syndrome" More Common in Women
Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy, or “broken heart syndrome,” is more likely to be suffered by females, when sudden or prolonged stress causes heart failure or heart attack-like symptoms.
Researchers found females are seven to nine times more likely to suffer from the ailment, which is usually triggered by events such as an emotional breakup or a death, reports AP.
In the first nationwide study of its kind, scientists discovered that patients usually recover with no permanent damage. However, in rare cases, it can prove fatal.
Dr. Mariell Jessup, a University of Pennsylvania heart failure specialist who has treated many such cases, said the typical case is "a woman who has just lost her husband,” AP reports.
The syndrome was first recognized around 1990 by Japanese doctors, who named it Takotsubo cardiomyopathy; tako tsubo are octopus traps that resemble the unusual pot-like shape of the stricken heart.
It occurs when a big shock, even a good one like a lottery win, triggers a rush of adrenaline and other stress hormones that cause the heart's main pumping chamber to balloon suddenly and not work right.
Tests show dramatic changes in rhythm and blood substances typical of a heart attack, but no artery blockages that typically cause one, reports AP.