Posts Tagged ‘young women heart disease’

Hope For the Broken Hearted

Heartbreak, heartache, and heartbroken are not words you would typically associate with the day of love (Valentine’s Day)…Or are they?

When February rolls around each year, we’re bombarded with messages and sentiments of love.  Couples, families, and friends begin to plan for Valentine’s Day, the day of love and dinner reservations are made, gifts are purchased, cards are written, and for those that are really lucky, the decadence of chocolate awaits. For some of us though, Valentine’s Day can be difficult if that special someone is no longer around. The overwhelming symbolism of love may cause them to reminisce and feel a deep pain. We know this pain, usually felt in the heart, as a broken heart, but in the medical world, this condition (yes, it’s a real medical condition) is known as acute stress cardiomyopathy.

Acute stress cardiomyopathy or “broken heart syndrome” is a relatively temporary heart condition brought on by stressful situations, such as a death of a loved one, or the complete shock of an unexpected breakup. The syndrome can lead to congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, and potentially life-threatening heart rhythm abnormalities.

It’s been reported that patients, mostly women, have gone to the emergency room due to classic heart attack symptoms caused by the shock, but when doctors performed diagnostic tests, such as an electrocardiogram, the results tended to look very different from regular heart attack EKGs. Furthermore, subsequent tests showed that the heart tissue was not damaged at all.

Luckily, the symptoms of broken heart syndrome are treatable and the condition usually reverses itself in a matter of time. So if you’ve lost a loved one or experienced a break up recently, although Valentine’s Day may be more difficult than most days, fear not–the once a year holiday and the detriment of loneliness will pass. Perhaps take the holiday as an opportunity to do something healthy for yourself. Relax, or knock a few things off your to-do list, try out a new recipe or craft, or even use the holiday as an opportunity to remind a friend how much they mean to you.

Tell us, have you ever experienced the broken heart syndrome? If so, how’d you get through it?

Related Resources

Heart Disease in Young Women

Young Women Heart Disease Web ChatDid you know that heart disease is the number one killer of women? And, what is more alarming is that heart disease affects women of all ages, not just older women. It is very important to know that younger women are more likely to fail to recognize their risk. According to researchers at the American Heart Association, about 16,000 women under age 55 die of heart disease each year, which is close to the same number of women of the same age who die of breast cancer. So, women of all ages should listen up: learn the symptoms of a heart attack so you are not one of the statistics!

If you are young women and have a history of heart disease in your family, have risk factors that could lead to heart disease or are concerned about your chances of developing heart disease, join us on Tuesday, May 15, 2012, at 12:30 p.m. EST for a live chat on Heart Disease in Young Women.

Emory Heart & Vascular Center cardiologist Susmita Parashar, MD, will answer questions about heart disease in young women including:

  • Why it is crucial for women to know the symptoms of heart disease in women
  • What young women can do to prevent heart disease
  • The importance of getting treatment right away
  • The research underway to combat heart disease in women

To register, visit Emoryhealthcare.org/mdchats.