Cardiomyopathy - real broken hearts
Think dying of a broken heart is just a myth? Think again. There is a physical heart condition that seems to be caused by a sudden traumatic shock such as the end of a relationship.
Stress cardiomyopathy or broken heart syndrome has similar symptoms to a heart attack, therefore making it difficult to diagnose. It’s thought that as many as 2% of the 300,000 heart attacks in the UK each year are actually “broken hearts”.
The condition, also called takotsubo cardiomyopathy, is a relatively recent discovery, meaning there’s few facts and figures on who and how many people are affected. The good news is that the condition is temporary, treatable, reversible and relatively short-lived: those that suffer from it can expect to see improvements in weeks or even days following treatment.
Stress cardiomyopathy causes the bottom half of the left ventricle to stop functioning properly, meaning the top half of the heart has to work much harder to compensate. In 75% of cases, this
follows an intense emotional or physical stress, which causes the human heart to literally break.
The symptoms are very similar to those of a heart attack shortness of breath and chest pains (angina). If you or someone is experiencing these symptoms call 999 immediately.