Broken heart syndrome may be linked to cancer, study suggests

Agency, 18 July : Can cancer break your heart? A new study suggests that there’s a link between cancer and a condition called broken heart syndrome.

The study, published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found that 1 in 6 people with broken heart syndrome had cancer, and that these patients in particular were more likely to die within five years, compared with broken heart syndrome patients without cancer.

Broken heart syndrome, which is also called stress cardiomyopathy or takotsubo cardiomyopathy, is a temporary condition that can be brought on by stressful situations. During broken heart syndrome, one part of the heart stops pumping normally, which may cause the rest of the heart to pump more forcefully, according to the Mayo Clinic.

A study from 2018 found that patients diagnosed with broken heart syndrome were twice as likely to face clinical complications during their treatment if they also had a history of cancer. That finding prompted the investigators to see if there was a connection between the two conditions.

In the new study, the researchers looked at data from the International Takotsubo Registry on more than 1,600 patients with broken heart syndrome. They found that 1 in 6 had cancer. Of those with cancer, nearly 90 percent were women. The most frequent type of cancer was breast, followed by the gastrointestinal system, respiratory tract, internal sex organs, skin and other areas.

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