Scientists link broken heart syndrome to stress

Heavy stress can lead to broken heart syndrome.

According to the newspaper, scientists have found that two molecules arising from high levels of stress are implicated in the development of broken heart syndrome – which is also known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy.

This is a condition in which there is a weakening of the left ventricle of the heart, which is responsible for pumping blood. Most often, the appearance of this syndrome is provoked by an acute emotional shock and a release of adrenaline in the body. In this case, the event can be any – the loss of a loved one and grief, car accidents, earthquakes, menopause and even happy events such as a wedding, for example. Its main danger is its similarity to a heart attack.

Scientists link broken heart syndrome to stress

Two molecules — microRNA-16 and microRNA-26a, which have been linked to depression, anxiety and increased stress levels — have previously been found in the blood of takotsubo patients, according to scientists.

“In takotsubo patients, the lower part of the heart stops beating and the upper part of the heart beats harder. Essentially, the same thing happens when we increase exposure to molecules in the laboratory. In that case, exactly the same thing happens as with takotsubo, which is to make it more likely that takotsubo will develop,” said lead author of the study, Dr. Liam Couch of Imperial College London.

Severe prolonged stress affects a person in the same way that a severe, sharp shock can eventually trigger broken heart syndrome. The problem, however, is that it is currently impossible to diagnose takotsubo in patients before it occurs.