The AP reports, “Females are seven to nine times more likely to suffer” Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, also known as “‘broken heart syndrome,’ when sudden or prolonged stress like an emotional breakup or death causes overwhelming heart failure or heart attack-like symptoms,” according to a study presented at the American Heart Association meeting.
The syndrome was first recognized about 21 years ago by physicians in Japan and occurs “when a big shock, even a good one like winning the lottery, triggers a rush of adrenaline and other stress hormones that cause the heart’s main pumping chamber to balloon suddenly and not work right.”
Most of the time, “patients recover with no lasting damage.”
“The study analyzed records from a nationwide database in 2007 and found that of about 6,230 cases of broken heart syndrome, more than 89 percent were in women,” HealthDay reports.
Notably, “in those aged 55 and older, the odds of developing broken heart syndrome were 9.5 times higher in females than males, the investigators found.”
The study authors theorized that hormonal differences or coronary artery variations between the sexes may play a role.