Can a Broken Heart be Dangerous to Your Health?
It’s not the plot of a romance novel.
Emotional heartache can trigger a medical condition known as Broken Heart Syndrome.
This stress-induced cardiomyopathy most often affects middle-aged women who are going through a divorce, have lost a job or a loved one or are experiencing other types of intense emotional and mental distress.
Broken Heart Syndrome may be confused with a heart attack because the initial symptoms and test results can be very similar. According to the American Heart Association, stress-induced cardiomyopathy is associated with intense chest pain, temporarily enlarges the heart, affects its pumping capacity and weakens the heart muscle.
“The good news is that the heart generally recovers well,” said Dr. Mauricio Cohen, a cardiologist with the University of Miami Health System who treats women with this condition. “We can treat these patients with a medication called beta-blockers.” Those suffering from Broken Heart Syndrome don’t show heart damage nor blockage to the arteries, and recovery time is quicker than for those who’ve actually had a heart attack.
Women can lessen their risk for Broken Heart Syndrome by reducing stress, exercising regularly, maintaining a heart-healthy diet and successfully managing their blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Written by a staff writer at UMiami Health News.