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An uptick in number of cases of broken heart syndrome is associated with COVID-19

By: Riley Kleemeier

Stress cardiomyopathy, often called broken heart syndrome, is a condition “caused by intense emotional or physical stress leading to rapid and severe reversible cardiac dysfunction.” A new study appearing in JAMA Network Open seeks to understand the association between broken heart syndrome and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The current pandemic has been linked to increased stress and anxiety worldwide, and researchers wanted to understand if this stress might lead to more cases of broken heart syndrome. Individuals who visited the hospital with symptoms of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) but tested negative for COVID-19 were studied.

The results showed that there was a “significant increase in the incidence of stress cardiomyopathy in patients presenting with ACS during the COVID-19 period.” In pre-COVID cases, broken heart syndrome accounted for 1.5%-1.8% of patients, whereas it accounted for 7.8% of patients during the pandemic.

This study has stressed the significant mental health challenges that people are facing globally, as well as the importance of reaching out to your healthcare provider if you are feeling overwhelmed by stress.

To read more about this study, please click here.


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