Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain and even altered cardiac enzymes
Whistle pain, shortness of breath or tiredness are some of the symptoms that come with great emotional stress. In this period of health crisis, many people have the broken heart syndrome, which is very similar to a heart attack. According to cardiologist Iran Gonçalves Júnior, the tension surrounding the pandemic, the fear of contracting the coronavirus it’s at anxiety imposed by restrictions can trigger the disease. “With the pandemic, the demand in the emergency room for patients who have symptoms comparable to a heart attack has increased. They come in with shortness of breath, chest pain, even changes in cardiac enzymes that we usually dose. In addition to these patients, patients hospitalized for Covid-19 in intensive care units they may present the same symptoms and signs, including electro changes. Observing these data, many going to catheterization, we saw that the coronary arteries were normal on many occasions, which is a characteristic of the broken heart syndrome.”
The cardiologist explains that in situations of stress or strong emotion, the body starts to produce more adrenaline and thus alters the functioning of the heart. “It is a discharge that is bad for the heart, this discharge is mediated by the adrenals, which are glands that are above the kidneys, but it is an immediate discharge by the central nervous system. It’s a very high stimulus of what we call the stress hormone, it mimics the coronary syndrome, caused by a demonstration of the coronary arteries. It is more common in menopausal women”, she explains. Symptoms are temporary and rarely leave sequelae. Treatment of broken heart syndrome is with medication. For prevention, regular practice has already proven effective in controlling stress, which overloads the heart. A survey conducted in the United States shows that the number of cases of the syndrome increased from 1.7% to 7.8%. The Brazilian Society of Cardiology has created an unprecedented study for the creation of a national registry on the disease, which will evaluate patients who had syndrome before and during the pandemic.
*With information from reporter Elisângela Carreira