The massive influx of women in the workforce of modern nations has produced a widespread phenomenon of “double stress” in their lives as they usually must cope with the work and household requirements at the same time. Even though there has been a shift in the social customs as more men are becoming aware that they must share the household chores, including the rearing of children, there is still an asymmetry in the distribution of tasks. Women still work more. Much more.

Sadly, the recent statistics show that women are catching up with the morbidity and mortality due to cardiovascular diseases due to their newfound responsibilities. In the USA it is the leading cause of death and disability for women of all societal levels. Oftentimes the presentation of cardiovascular disease is atypical in women as they do not show up in the office with the traditional “angor pectoris”; they have persistent anxiety or asthenia or polymorphic pain syndromes in the extremities.

Early in their lives, the estrogens have a protective effect on their cardiovascular system as they promote the formation of HDL-cholesterol, which cleanses the vessels of atherosclerotic plaques. But as menopause approaches, they have less estrogens and the risk of cardiovascular anomalies increases significantly.

As women usually have a richer emotional dimension, there are more instances where they can suffer from an “emotional frustration” and bear consequences. In post-menopausal women an unusually strong emotional event can produce a particular syndrome called “Takotsubo’s cardiomyopathy”. The sudden release of a high amount of adrenalin produces transitory damages to the cardiac muscle with the corresponding clinical presentation mimicking a “heart attack” due to coronary artery disease; the laboratory values and electrocardiogram may be abnormal.

The angiography shows an increase dilatation of the left ventricle, which normally has a triangular shape; it becomes more elongated and rounded, resembling an inverted vase. The Japanese physicians that discovered this clinical syndrome in 1990 named it after the special utensil Japanese fishermen use to catch octopus. Once the acute episode subsides with proper medical therapy, the heart recovers completely and there are no permanent sequelae of a “broken heart” syndrome.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

9 thoughts on “The “broken heart” syndrome

  1. Dr. sir, thanks for sharing your value based views on women working class and the stresses and strains they face at the workplaces. Your take on this subject is practical in nature and eye-opening.

    Yesterday I had penned down a write-up on MOTHER EARTH being the EARTH DAY yesterday and before that PRESENT, PAST AND FUTURE; do appraise these blogs and offer your invaluable comments.

    Warm regards,


    1. Good morning and thanks for your nice and generous commentary my spiritual friend across the oceans. Yesterday I remembered you fondly as I started reading the excellent book titled “How the BJP wins: inside India’s greatest election machine” by Prashant Jha. He clearly says that the Prime Minister Modi’s astounding success to give his political message to Hindus and non-Hindus alike is not only the result of a favorable hawa or the electorate’s tiredness with the same lame discourse of the corrupt Congress party but also the consequence of party discipline, focused leadership and a concise, clear message to the crowds that make common citizens feel “that they belong to the nation.” As you might have read in my novel, that populist message is similar to the one delivered by Il Duce Benito Mussolini to the disenfranchised Italian peasants, something expected as both Fascism and the Sangh Parivar started in the early twentieth century. Whatever you might think of President Trump you have to admit that, rightly or wrongly, his electoral message did touch the hearts of millions of excluded Americans from the economic benefits of massive globalization. Yes, I am interested in the working man and woman, ever since my father Mario, a lifelong socialist, taught me that those with academic training and intellectual curiosity must never forget our less endowed brothers and sisters. Secondly, I like the term ‘habib” better my friend and of course I will carefully read and comment your article momentarily.
      A big hug. Arrivederci!

      1. Good morning Dr. Sahib: Two untiring election machinery of BJP are PM Modi and its BJP President to whom the people liked. The Congress’s corrupt rule too played its part in the defeat of congress that too created wind in favour of BJP. The congress has not learned any lesson, yesterday, they manipulated to cobble together more than seven opposition parties for the impeachment of CJI – a move which is politically motivated and smacks of some fishy and sinister design to denigrate the institution of judiciary. This act of their too is not liked by the right thinking people. Sang
        Parivar is now a cohesive unit and if they remained corruption free, people will vote for them even in 2019 Lok Sabha electins too.

        President Trump won since he espoused the causes of general electorate. He has certain inward oriented policies too which are partly accepted and partly disliked by some.

        Your social background is really awe-inspiring.

        Thanks for your most inspiring and valuable comment.

        A big hug to you too.

        With regards


      2. Dear Harbans thanks for this great update of the wisdom of the Indian electorate that knows who will take care of their basic needs. Like a slogan of the Radio Padania Libera, owned by the Center Right Lega ( I have to clarify that my kids and I voted for the other populist party, Il Movimento Cinque Stelle) from Italy says:
        “parliamo dal pancionne della gente” ( we talk about the belly of the people)
        Don’t dismay. Always by the people’s side!

      3. My gratitude for replying to my reply – I am really impressed by the use of language and style of your writing. Your descriptions are forthright and educative.

        With regards


    1. My dear Bojana, this is a syndrome of temporary damage that affects women mostly as they are the “suffering” majority in society. Contrary to common belief, the most common cause of morbidity and mortality in modern women is not Breast or Cervical cancer but Cardiovascular diseases. As more women get to smoking, Lung cancer is coming second. Ah if you would only have read or even browse a few pages of my novel…There I tell how we can alleviate modern women’s plight. C’est la vie!

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