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14th Feb 2024

Is there such a thing as a broken heart? We asked a cardiologist about the condition

Kat O'Connor

Did you know people can be hospitalised with broken heart?

Being left heartbroken is one of the least pleasant feelings of all. Dealing with a broken heart is not as easy as it looks in a rom-com. In reality, you need more than a tub of ice cream and a makeover to make you feel better.

Sometimes a break-up or suffering a loss can have an impact on our physical health as well as our mental health.

We often hear about people dying from a broken heart, but is it an actual medical condition?

Dr. Roisin Colleran recently spoke to about broken heart syndrome and it turns out it’s a real condition.

The doctor explained: “Broken heart syndrome is actually called takatubo’s cardiopathy. The condition occurs when someone has sudden acute stress which can lead to their heart muscle weakening.”

Dr. Roisin said that they’ve seen many people with broken heart syndrome in the hospital, even in the ICU.

However, she said the condition is often more common in women.

She shared: “A lady will come in and present as if they’re having a heart attack, but they actually have broken heart syndrome.

“We will take them straight for tests but during the tracing of the heart, we will discover that they’re not having a heart attack, even though the symptoms may be similar.

“We take them to the lab and there’s no blocked artery so then we inject dye into their heart.

Roisin explained: “We will then realise they have Takatubo’s cardiopathy.”

Those who are admitted to hospital with broken heart syndrome will often make a full recovery, but Dr. Roisin told us about one patient who was admitted to ICU with the condition.

Most people with broken heart syndrome will make a full recovery

Luckily, she made a complete recovery, but the condition is serious.

“The patient will usually recover within a few days and we will do an ultrasound again when the heart is back to normal.

Dr. Roisin encouraged anyone who has experienced heartbreak or grief to ensure they’re up to date with their heart health checkups.

You should always go to the doctor if you’re ever concerned about your heart.

Even if you are suffering from broken heart syndrome, you will make a full recovery.

Dr. Roisin reassured: “The prognosis is good and the patient’s pump function will go back to normal in time.”



broken heart