Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Sheer Heart Attack? Real Cardiac!

Yes, Love Can Break Your Heart - And in 17 Places!

Love will tear us - and our hearts - apart. That's the heartburn-inducing news about "Broken-Heart Syndrome," according to a November 2015 report published in the American Journal of Cardiology, as reported in today's Wall Street Journal ("Don't Call It a Heart Attack," by Lucette Lagnado, WSJ, January 5, 2016). The disorder was first isolated by Japanese researchers 25 years ago, who named the condition takotsubo cardiomyopathy, "takotsubo" being the Japanese term for "octopus trap," which resembles the ballooning shape of a heart during an attack.

Heart-break can be a painful cardiac episode that mimics a heart attack, but typically without blockage of coronary arteries. It most often affects women in their 60s or older, and can be triggered by strong emotions (grief, anger, anxiety, intense joy or excitement) or physical stress. And how, as the Brothers Gibb once pondered harmoniously, can one mend a broken heart? According to Dr. Harmony Reynolds, one of the report's six authors, recommended prevention strategies including yoga, meditation, guided relaxation and breathing techniques.

"This is the Big One...Elizabeth, I'm coming to join you!"
"It's a romantic notion, but you really can get this from heartache."
- Dr. Harmony Reynolds, American Journal of Cardiology

Here's the WSJ article:
Harmony Reynolds, a cardiologist at NYU Langone Medical Center, recently led a study that subjected 20 women to a host of tests designed to bring on physical and mental stress.
The study looked for possible reasons some of the women had suffered a mysterious ailment known as broken-heart syndrome, which mimics a heart attack but generally doesn’t appear to be due to coronary artery disease.
In seeking a common thread among the 10 women in the group who had experienced an attack of broken-heart syndrome over the past several years, Dr. Reynolds and colleagues came to suspect they each suffered from an impaired parasympathetic nervous system, the part of the nervous system responsible for helping the body calm down.
The study led to strikingly different conclusions from what other researchers had previously believed might be behind the unusual malady. It also led Dr. Reynolds to believe that breathing and other relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation should be tested for preventing broken-heart syndrome.
Experts say broken-heart syndrome, which most often affects women in their 60s or older, can be brought on by strong emotions, such as grief, anger and anxiety, or by physical stress. A common trigger is a loved one’s illness or death, while for some patients there is no clear-cut cause for an attack. “It is a romantic notion, but you really can get this from heartache,” says Dr. Reynolds, whose study was published online in November in the American Journal of Cardiology.
Roberta Silver, who participated in Dr. Reynolds’s study, recalls driving in Santa Monica, Calif., in 2007 when she suddenly felt her heart pounding. She pulled over to a cafe, where she became intensely ill. An ambulance took her to a hospital, and she was told she had suffered a heart attack. But a series of tests, including an angiogram, all turned up negative, she says.
“I had no blockage, nothing,” recalls Ms. Silver, who was visiting California from her home in New Jersey. After several days in the hospital, doctors concluded she had suffered broken-heart syndrome. Ms. Silver, who is 70, still isn’t sure what caused the event, and she hasn’t had a repeat episode. But she was ill with an upper respiratory infection and under stress at the time: A cousin she had been close to had died and Ms. Silver was planning to attend his funeral in San Francisco. And preparations for her son’s wedding were proving upsetting.
Continue reading "New Clues Why Women Get Broken-Heart Syndrome" online at Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com).

Heart-Break Syndrome - A Partial Hit List:

Bonnie Tyler - "It's a Heartache"

Neil Young - "Only Love Can Break Your Heart"

Tracey Ullman - "You Broke My Heart in 17 Places"

Queen - "Sheer Heart Attack"

Billy Ray Cyrus - "Achy Breaky Heart"

Bee Gees - "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart"

Godley and Creme - "Cry"

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