NEW YORK – There’s a question singer and songwriter, Michael Bolton asked in 1983: “How am I supposed to live without you?” Clearly, he found a way but a new study suggests a broken heart can indeed have deadly consequences.
A group of researchers set out to identify the factors that can result in the onset of Takotsubo Syndrome, also known as stress-induced cardiomyopathy. Doctors say it’s a temporary and sudden weakening of heart muscles, often triggered by emotional stress or constant anxiety.
“A car crash can put someone on an emotional roller-coaster,” car accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “It can take weeks, months or even years for a victim to emotionally recover from an accident.”
Researchers found that most patients experienced emotional or physical stressors before the onset of Takotsubo Syndrome. The stressors, the study notes, could be anything from a bad break-up to being a survivor of a car crash.
“We’re not only concerned for the folks who survive a horrific accident, their families can experience health issues too,” Cellino said. “Severe injuries or the loss of a loved one can be devastating to family members.”
The sudden emotional stress can cause abnormal contractions of heart muscles. Researchers said these contractions usually disappeared one to four weeks after a catalyst but it can sometimes persist, leading to more serious complications and even death.
The onset of Takotsubo Syndrome was found to be particularly dangerous to individuals with psychological disorders, pulmonary diseases and cancer. Researchers concluded the condition needs to be studied further so doctors can better treat this broken-heart syndrome.