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Broken Heart Syndrome Is Real and Can Be Fatal


  • Broken heart syndrome is a condition caused by an acute reduction in the cardiac muscle’s ability to constrict, resulting in sudden and severe chest pain similar to the pain caused by a myocardial infarction.
  • About 90% of cases affect females, with 80% affecting women of post-menopausal age.
  • Only a coronary angiogram can separate the symptoms of broken heart syndrome from those caused by an acute myocardial.

On any given Valentine’s Day, you are likely to see couples walking hand in hand, celebrating their love for one another. However, would you believe that a broken heart caused by disappointment in love could result in sadness or stress that is capable of causing an actual “broken heart”?

In the medical field, broken heart syndrome is also called stress-induced cardiomyopathy, Takotsubo cardiomyopathy or apical ballooning syndrome. All of these names refer to an acute reduction in the cardiac muscle’s ability to contract. The causes of this syndrome are still debated. Sudden increase in the catecholamine hormone as a result of extreme disappointment or stress, such as from the sudden loss of a loved one to an accident, is believed to be the cause of broken heart syndrome. Alternately, it can result from the use of some forms of medication.

Patients who suffer from this condition experience a stress-induced catecholamine release which directly impacts cardiovascular function.

Whom does broken heart syndrome tend to affect?

Studies have found that 90% of sufferers are female, with 80% being postmenopausal women, ranging from 58-77 years old.

The symptoms of stress-induced cardiomyopathy cannot be differentiated from an acute myocardial infarction unless a coronary angiogram is carried out. In those who was diagnosed a myocardial infarction, 1% of them actually suffer from stress-induced cardiomyopathy.

Symptoms of broken heart syndrome

The following are symptoms common to a stress-induced cardiomyopathy: a sudden crescendo of severe chest pain similar to that caused by a myocardial infarction (lasting for minutes or hours), feeling faint, low blood pressure, arrhythmia, difficulty breathing or a pulmonary edema.


Once a coronary angiogram has been completed and the condition has been diagnosed as a stress-induced cardiomyopathy rather than a myocardial infarction, doctors will provide medication to slow down the heart rate and control the heart’s contractions. Additionally, they will look to find solutions for the factors which led to this condition.

In cases where the condition is a result of stress, helping to ease the patient’s mental instability will take precedence over all else. With this in mind, discussions with family members and psychologists may help ensure that the patient learns how to deal with any potential stress while moving forward.


Complete a risk assessment for genetic conditions at:


  1. Medina de Chazal H et al, J Am Coll. Cardiol 2018;72:1955-71.
  2. Prasad A, Lerman A, Rihal CS. Apical ballooning syndrome (Tako-Tsubo or stress cardiomyopathy): a mimic of acute myocardial infarction. Am Heart J. 2008;155(3):408–17
  3. Gianni M, Dentali F, Grandi AM, Sumner G, Hiralal R, Lonn E. Apical ballooning syndrome or takotsubo cardiomyopathy: a systematic review. Eur Heart J. 2006;27(13):1523–9

Heart strength assessments to prevent sudden loss of life, either for yourself or your loved ones.



Price (THB)

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Heart Disease Detection Program – Heart Disease (Echo) | Checklist 11,000
Heart Disease Detection Program – Heart Disease (Stress Echo) | Checklist 12,000
Genetic screening to assess the risk of unexplained sudden cardiac arrest syndrome, alongside key health assessment for men and women | Checklist

  • Programs may only be purchased at these prices until December 31, 2019.

For more information or to make an appointment with a doctor, please contact


Program Price (THB)
Heart health screening program – Maxcure Heart 4,200
Heart health screening program – Comprehensive Heart 6,800
Heart health screening program – Complete Heart 18,500

  • Programs may only be purchased at these prices until December 31, 2019.

For more information or to make an appointment with a doctor, please contact

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