The broken heart syndrome, also known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TCM), is likely to have a longer-lasting impact on the heart, a new study has revealed.
Previously, the heart was believed to improve with time in this syndrome, but the new findings point out that the damage is more long-lasting.
The research was carried out by researchers from Aberdeen University with Dr Dana Dawson as the lead author.
Severe emotional distress such as grief and death of a close one cause the broken heart syndrome. This condition can also cause temporary heart failure.
According to statistics, 3,000 people suffer from TCM in the UK and it was also found that more women are affected from this condition than men.
In this study, researchers analysed 52 patients suffering from the broken heart syndrome for a span of four months. They checked the cardiovascular functioning of the participants by using cardiac MRI scans and ultrasound.
"The results suggested that the syndrome permanently affected the heart's pumping motion, delaying the twisting or "wringing" motion made by the muscle during a heartbeat. The heart's squeezing motion was also reduced," a BBC report said.
It was also found that the elasticity of the heart and its squeezing motion had depleted due to this syndrome and scarring was found in some parts of the heart muscle. This led to obstruction in the proper contraction of the heart.
"We used to think that people who suffered from takotsubo cardiomyopathy would fully recover, without medical intervention. Here we've shown that this disease has much longer lasting damaging effects on the hearts of those who suffer from it," Dr Dawson said.
This study revealed that around three percent and 17 percent of patients die of this syndrome within five years of diagnosis.
Spike is observed in the levels of stress in 70 percent cases. The researchers advise to find out an effective way to treat this syndrome.