Broken heart syndrome – an actual medical condition

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Yes, you heard it right. Broken heart syndrome is an actual medical condition! Loyola University Health System cardiologist, Dr. Sara Sirna, says that Broken heart syndrome occurs during highly stressful or emotional times, such as divorce, the death of a spouse, a serious medical diagnosis or significant financial problems.

Broken heart syndrome is also known as stress-induced cardiomyopathy, Takosubo’s cardiomyopathy or transient apical ballooning syndrome. The underlying cause is not known but is thought to be secondary to the release of adrenalin and other stress hormones that have a deleterious effect on the heart.

Symptoms typically include chest pain and difficulty breathing, and can easily be mistaken for a heart attack. Broken heart syndrome typically occurs in patients older than 50 and is more common in women, although it also can occur in younger women and men.

It is like a heart attack, but does no lasting damage. Unlike a heart attack, broken heart syndrome usually is reversible and most affected individuals regain cardiac function within a short period of time. It’s often difficult to tell the difference between broken heart syndrome and a heart attack. Dr. Sirna says to call an ambulance if you experience symptoms such as chest pain and difficulty breathing and better don’t assume you’re having broken heart syndrome!

More on this can be read here.

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Scientist-entrepreneur-manager-journalist: -Co-founder, Author; Former Assistant Editor and Director, Biotechin.Asia, Biotech Media Pte. Ltd.; -Founder & CEO, SciGlo (; -Programme Management Officer, SBIC, A*STAR (former Research Fellow). --Sandhya graduated from University of Madras, India (B.Sc Microbiology and M.Sc Biotechnology) and received her Ph.D from the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She worked on oxidative stress in skin, skeletal, adipose tissue and cardiac muscle for a decade from 2006-2016. She is currently working as a Programme Management Officer handling projects and grants at Singapore Bioimaging Consortium (SBIC), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Earlier to this she was a Research Fellow in the Fat Metabolism and Stem Cell Group at SBIC. Sandhya was also the Vice President and Publicity Chair of A*PECSS (A*STAR Post Doc Society) (2014-2016). Recently she founded a platform for scientists - SciGlo ( and is a startup mentor at Vertical VC (Finland). She is an ardent lover of science and enjoys globe trotting and good vegetarian food.