Cases of the condition also known as stress cardiomyopathy, are currently four times higher as stress levels around the world continue to rise during the coronavirus health crisis. 

A study conducted by doctors in Cleveland, Ohio has found that Broken Heart Syndrome has become more prevalent since March 2020. People are not only worried about themselves or their families becoming ill; they are dealing with economic and emotional issues, societal problems, as well as potential loneliness and isolation. 

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The causes of the syndrome are not fully understood, but symptoms are thought to be caused when stress triggers the release of hormones that affect the heart. It is believed physical and emotional stress can lead to hormones being released that lower the heart’s ability to pump, leading to irregular rhythm. Symptoms can resemble a heart attack, with patients commonly complaining of chest pains and shortness of breath, but without the acutely blocked coronary arteries. 

Another study published in the European Heart Journal explained how the brain might be linked to Broken Heart Syndrome. The researchers looked at MRI scans of 15 patients with broken hearts, and found increased connectivity between the limbic system - which processes emotions - and the autonomic nervous system which controls breathing and heartbeat. 

Additional source: Next

Compiled by Afika Jadezweni

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