Thursday, February 10, 2005

On The Mark -- Broken Heart Syndrome

I heard on the radio yesterday (it may be in the papers today, which I haven't read yet) that doctors have discovered a new heart disease, which for the public they're calling Broken Heart Syndrome.

Researchers have found that there have been cases where patients have been misdiagnosed as having had a heart attack or congestive heart failure. When Broken Heart Syndrome strikes, the patient loses consciousness and the heart stops beating, much like a heart attack. But in these cases there is no heart muscle damage and the occurrence was not the result of artery blockage.

In all the cases (although later in the story the reporter said "in almost all cases"), the patient was revived and it was later discovered that the episode was caused by the heart being attacked violently by hormones that were released when the patient experienced something suddenly that was sad or alarming, thus its name. Some examples cited were hearing about the death of a loved one, or finding out your spouse is cheating on you.

The report also said that all the known cases involved women only. One researcher said he believes this is the case because women have a more sophisticated and intricate connection between the brain and the heart.

1 comment:

The Misanthrope said...

What guy would be brave enough to comment on this piece other than Hector?