• Is Broken Heart Syndrome a Real Diagnosis?

    Posted by Mark Koziol on July 14, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    In the past week, the Cleveland television news channels have been reporting on a research article by Cleveland Clinic researchers. The article is titled, “Cleveland Clinic Researchers Find Rise In Broken Heart Syndrome During COVID-19 Pandemic”. The study consisted of examining patients before the COVID-19 pandemic began and during the pandemic. “Cleveland Clinic researchers have found a significant increase in patients experiencing stress cardiomyopathy, also known as broken heart syndrome, during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

    I would have never have thought of broken heart syndrome being a true medical diagnosis until I watched the news segments and read the article. I know broken heart syndrome is not the technical diagnosis but the term creates a buzz in the media and for viewers. The proper medical term is stress cardiomyopathy. “Stress cardiomyopathy occurs in response to physical or emotional distress and causes dysfunction or failure in the heart muscle.” The symptoms are “similar to a heart attack, such as chest pain and shortness of breath, but usually do not have acutely blocked coronary arteries.”

    Dr. Ankur Kalra, M.D., writes, “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about multiple levels of stress in people’s lives across the country and world. People are not only worried about themselves or their families becoming ill, they are dealing with economic and emotional issues, societal problems and potential loneliness and isolation.”

    As pulmonary fibrosis patients, we deal with a host of issues daily. We are accustomed to the adversity this disease brings. After reading the article I hope forum members will remain cognizant of life’s stressors and use strategies to hopefully alleviate these stressors.

    I am interested to know if any of our forum members have experienced any of the symptoms stated in the article during this COVID-19 pandemic. 

    The full article can be found here.

    Mark Koziol replied 3 years, 9 months ago 3 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Steve Dragoo

    July 19, 2020 at 11:16 pm

    Yes – I could name a few reasons like psychiatrists claim the heart has memory, there are many heart diseases that are traced to emotional /mental loss or deep stress but the biggest evidence to me as a Christian is Christ died of a broken heart to give His royal blood to save you and me…  – Steve

  • Mark Koziol

    July 20, 2020 at 6:34 am

    Hi Steve, thank you for providing input on this topic. Before this topic was in the media I never imagined it would be a true diagnosis. I appreciate your comments. Take care, Mark.

  • Karen Martin

    July 22, 2020 at 7:42 am

    Mark, I am glad you posted this. I remember well the pain I felt in the early days after my husband died and it did literally feel as if my heart were breaking inside my chest. I would have sworn it was truly a physical pain. Now I realize it might have been. Luckily for me it wasn’t and that was over four years ago, but I am sure we don’t fully understand the toll stress takes on our bodies.
    When I was first diagnosed with COPD/IPF, I was at first so stunned that I really didn’t feel much of anything. Although I have never had the feeling of “heartbreak” since then, I do know that my emotions are, at times, very highly strung. It makes sense to do what I can to calm those in order to protect my heart, in both senses of the word. Thanks again for the information.

  • Mark Koziol

    July 22, 2020 at 10:34 am

    Hello Karen, thank you for commenting. I’m sorry about the passing of your husband and the pain it caused you. I concur with the points you state in your comments. I sort of wear my heart on sleeve too. Hey, at least people know where we stand. Take care, Mark.

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