What is the “broken heart syndrome” and why the Corona Virus could contribute to an increase in the number of cases

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To investigate the health of workers, their patients in the Centro Regional Medical Center. (MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Melina Mara)
To investigate the health of workers, their patients in the Centro Regional Medical Center. (MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Melina Mara)

A study suggests that the side-effects of the pandemic caused by a novel coronavirus could generate an increase in the cases of the syndrome known as “the broken heart”, a cardiomyopathy caused by stress.

According to an article from the CNNthis problem could affect patients who suffer or have suffered from COVID-19, but the forms of stress suffered-physically, socially, and economically in the past few months.

Also known as tako-tsubo syndrome, this disease occurs when the heart muscle is weakened, causing chest pain and shortness of breath.

A health worker in Los Angeles during the pandemic coronavirus (Hans Gutknecht/the Orange County Reg / DPA)

A health worker in Los Angeles during the pandemic coronavirus (Hans Gutknecht/the Orange County Reg / DPA)

He presents himself as Heart attackbut triggered by stressful events that may result due to blockages in the bloodstream, and only in some cases to the death, but patients typically recover within days or weeks.

Researchers from the Cleveland clinic investigated the patients in the two hospitals with heart problems have been treated, taken this spring, and in comparison with patients with similar problems in the past two years.

The study, published in the journal JAMA network Openfound that registered patients during the pandemic were two times more likely to have the syndrome of the broken heart.

Employees of the fire Department of New York arrives with a patient of the St. John's Episcopal Hospital. Queens, New York, USA, may 20, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Employees of the fire Department of New York arrives with a patient of the St. John’s Episcopal Hospital. Queens, New York, USA, may 20, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The study examines 1.914 patients in five different periods of two monthsincluding a sample of more than 250 patients in the hospital in March and April, in the early peak of the pandemic.

The research concluded that the increase was probably in connection with the “stress, psychological, social and economic” by the pandemic, which is also a “quarantine, the lack of social interaction, the strict rules of alienation, physical and economic consequences in the life of the people.”

“The pandemic has created, is a parallel environment that is healthy”, Dr. Ankur Kalra, the cardiologist who led the study said.

 The health of workers with special costumes for coronavirus (EFE)
The health of workers with special costumes for coronavirus (EFE)

Emotional distancing is not healthy. The economic implications are not healthy. What we have seen as a rise in deaths without a coronavirus, and our study, the pandemic is said that the cardiomyopathy has generated has increased as a result of stress due to the stress,” he added.

All in all, has not requested the study in the interrelationships between broken heart syndrome and stress, with coronavirus, or you see a member of the family to the disease. The patients were in the study COVID evaluated to 19, and none proved to be positive.

In many countries of the world, health authorities and politicians have referred to the impact of the pandemic on the mental health, focusing on the consequences in the lives of social isolation.

Studies on the effects of coronavirus carried out at the University of Arizona, Tucson, United States REUTERS/Cheney Orr
Studies on the effects of coronavirus carried out at the University of Arizona, Tucson, United States REUTERS/Cheney Orr

In may of last year, the Director general of the world health organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that “the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of the people is extremely disturbing,”

Despite the interest of the study, the article published by the CNN Brand also some of its limitations. Among them, the researchers only the medical records of patients in northeast Ohio reviewed, and warned that more work is needed to determine if these results are true in other parts of the country.

It would also be necessary for a final to investigate the direct relationship between the COVID-19 and the broken heart syndrome, this was not part of this study.

An expert in the syndrome, tako-tsubo, raised questions about the methodology of the new study and noted opportunities for potential distortions. “You may have all of the basic. I am not against the hypothesis. The object of statistical methods, ” said Dr. John Horowitz, professor Emeritus of cardiology at the University of Adelaide in Australia, who has published more than 20 papers in peer-reviewed (Papers) on Takotsubo.

Medical staff do the Tests for coronavirus (COVID-19), in Austin, Texas, United States REUTERS/Sergio Flores
Medical staff do the Tests for coronavirus (COVID-19), in Austin, Texas, United States REUTERS/Sergio Flores

In addition, the researchers studied only patients with a cardiac catheterization, a minimally invasive procedure often performed to look for blockages in the arteries of the heart.

The observation can only result in this proportion of patients, distortions in the sample, said Horowitz, because it could be excluded, older patients and patients in the study, the less likely to use a catheter.

“It is known that often the Patients with the syndrome of tako-tsubo-in moments of extreme stress, or in the case of natural disasters”Horowitz said. “But there are problems with the way in which the study was designed. I don’t think that all of these cases, ” Takotsubo. It is just like that.”

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