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According to a new study, broken hearts are on the rise. In March and April of 2020, 7.8% of patients presenting with symptoms of a heart attack had the condition - known as Takotsubo cardiomyopathy.
Takotsubo is known to affect people after the death of a child or spouse. People also experience stress-induced cardiomyopathy after surgery, public speaking, a death threat, and claustrophobia in an MRI machine. The research suggests the stress of the global crisis is pushing people's hearts over the edge.
While Takotsubo patients' hearts appear to function normally again, the heart may have some segments that are not contracting well. That may explain why some people report chest pain, breathing difficulty, and other challenges long after their heart appear to have returned to normal.
Medications like beta-blockers and blood thinners can be necessary for recovery, but it is also important to see a psychologist. Meditation and regular exercise may also help.
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