The side effects of a broken heart

Guthrie’s Chief of Cardiology Dr. Daniel Sporn discusses the symptoms of broken heart syndrome.

SAYRE — With hearts and romantic well-wishes adorned across many store aisles, those who will instead opt to play The J. Geils Band’s Love Stinks in lieu of today’s Valentine’s festivities may want to keep an eye on their actual hearts.

Jokes aside, Guthrie’s cardiovascular team reminded residents this week that “broken heart syndrome” is a real condition and can have serious side effects on one’s heart.

“Broken heart syndrome, or stress-induced cardiomyopathy, is a group of symptoms similar to those of a heart attack that occurs in response to physical or emotional stress,” said Guthrie’s Chief of Cardiology Dr. Daniel Sporn. “Those stress factors can include things like a death in the family, financial difficulties — and you can actually get quite sick from it, even if you don’t have a history of heart or cardiovascular problems.”

Sporn explained that while there are no known inherent risk factors for those who have suffered from the syndrome, 90 percent of victims are women.

“A leading theory is that broken heart syndrome is triggered as a result of a buildup of adrenaline being released, and the first thing that would affect is the heart,” he said.

Sporn added that while many may not be familiar with broken heart syndrome, it is not all that uncommon.

“It’s not a common issue, but it isn’t rare, either,” he said. “We probably have approximately 50 cases a year.”

Sporn noted that anyone who thinks they may be suffering from broken heart syndrome should not hesitate to have themselves checked.

“Don’t sit at home wondering,” he said. “Come in and get it taken care of.”

Johnny Williams can be reached at (570) 888-9643 ext. 232 or jwilliams@morning-times.com. Follow Johnny Williams on Twitter @johnnywMT

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