Stress-linked 'broken heart syndrome' more common during COVID-19 pandemic

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The incidence of stress cardiomyopathy, also known as 'broken heart syndrome', has increase significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, compared with pre-pandemic periods, according to US research. Stress cardiomyopathy is a condition in which intense emotional or physical stress can cause rapid and severe heart muscle weakness. The study found that among people presenting to hospital with acute coronary syndrome, rates of stress cardiomyopathy increased from around 1.5 per cent pre-pandemic to 7.8 per cent during the pandemic. The authors say that psychological, social, and economic stress related to the pandemic is likely the reason for this increase, rather than the virus itself.

Journal/conference: JAMA Network Open

Link to research (DOI): 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.14780

Organisation/s: Cleveland Clinic, USA

Funder: Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

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