Recent Blog Articles

Heart Health

Is broken heart syndrome becoming more common?

February 1, 2022

Rising rates of these unusual heart attacks — also known as takotsubo syndrome or stress cardiomyopathy — may reflect increased awareness of the condition.

51340b96-c398-4aba-b7fc-7359b48f3fdd

The classic symptoms of a heart attack, such as squeezing chest discomfort and trouble breathing, usually occur when a blocked coronary artery chokes off part of the heart’s blood supply. But those same symptoms can arise when the coronary arteries are clear. In some of these cases, broken heart syndrome may be to blame.

Also known as takotsubo syndrome or stress cardiomyopathy, this uncommon condition usually results from severe emotional or physical stress, such as from the death of a loved one, a serious illness or surgery, or a natural disaster. Other possible triggers include a fierce argument, financial loss, intense fear, or (in rare cases) even happy emotional events such as a wedding or surprise party.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.

Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.

  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »

I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.

Sign Me Up

Already a member? Login ».

Disclaimer:

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.

No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

You might also be interested in…

Heart Failure: Understanding the condition and optimizing treatment

In Heart Failure: Understanding the condition and optimizing treatment​, you’ll learn the mechanics of the heart, the symptoms and warning signs of heart failure, and the keys to an effective treatment plan. This report will help you understand and invest in the steps you need to take to keep heart failure in check. You’ll get guidance for monitoring symptoms, for sticking to your doctor's strategy, and for making heart-smart lifestyle changes.

Read More

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.