Cases of “broken heart syndrome” have increased during coronavirus pandemic, study suggests


Dying from a broken heart isn’t just an expression — people can actually die from the pain they feel from the loss of love. So-called broken heart syndrome, resulting from the stress one feels when someone close to them dies, is technically called stress cardiomyopathy or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, and cases have increased during the coronavirus pandemic, a study by Cleveland Clinic researchers suggests.

The researchers sought to determine if the psychological, social, and economic stress caused by coronavirus is associated with the incidence of stress cardiomyopathy.

The researchers looked at 1,914 acute coronary syndrome patients from two hospitals in the Cleveland Clinic health system who underwent coronary arteriography, a procedure that involves injecting dye to track blood flow through the arteries. They compared patients that experienced the syndrome during the COVID-19 pandemic with patients from time periods prior to the pandemic.

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