May 5, 2022 — “Broken heart syndrome” may also occur after joyful life events, a new study suggests. Researchers call it “happy heart syndrome.”
Broken heart syndrome, officially known as Takotsubo syndrome, is a sudden form of heart failure. It is thought to be caused by negative life events, such as experiencing fear, sadness, or conflict.
New findings suggest that a small group of patients have takotsubo syndrome caused by happy life events, report Thomas Stiermaier, MD, of University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein in Lübeck, Germany, and colleagues.
It was striking that these patients were more often male. There was no difference in overall results between people with happy hearts and broken heart syndromes, the researchers found.
The results were published online May 4 in JACC: Heart Failure.
Previous reports have shown that takotsubo syndrome can be caused by negative emotional triggers, physical triggers such as strenuous physical activity or medical procedures, a combination of emotional and physical triggers, or neither type of trigger, the authors say. Research shows that physical triggers are usually linked to poor outcomes.
But more recent information, along with these new findings, suggests that joyful events such as weddings, baptisms, the birth of grandchildren or a birthday party could also be a trigger.
Extreme emotions, both negative and positive, can cause takotsubo syndrome in rare cases, although most patients who experience sadness or joy in their daily lives do not develop the condition, says Jason H. Rogers, MD, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of California, Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.
“You could advise patients to avoid extreme emotions, but having emotions is part of human nature and is not something that is easily controlled,” he says. “We tell all patients the same thing: If you feel chest pain or pressure, or if you feel something is wrong with your heart, don’t delay seeking medical attention.”
In the new study, the researchers assessed 2,482 patients using the GERman-Italian-Spanish Takotsubo (GEIST) registry, one of the largest in the world for these cases, to compare triggers and outcomes of people with a broken and happy heart. syndrome.
Of the 910 patients who had an emotional trigger, 37 were in the happy heart group and 873 in the broken heart group. The mean age was similar between the groups – about 70 years.
Patients with happy heart syndrome were more likely to have an abnormal heart burst and were more likely to be male (18.9% vs. 5.0%) than those who had a negative triggering event.
Heartbreak and happy heart patients had similar long-term death rates and hospital complications.
This post ‘Broken Heart Syndrome’ also linked to Happy Hearts
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