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Local cardiologist seeing an increase in patients with broken heart syndrome during pandemic

Posted at 2:26 PM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-15 14:26:54-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Broken Heart Syndrome, or stress cardiomyopathy, is something often brought up around Valentine's Day. But one Indianapolis cardiologist tells WRTV he's seeing more cases during COVID-19.

IU Health Cardiologist Dr. Kyle Frick says it presents similarly to a heart attack with shortness of breath and chest pain.

The difference?

Stress is to blame for reducing heart function and can even lead to heart failure. He says it typically is brought on by several emotional or physical stressors.

"I think broken heart syndrome shows us there's definitely a connection between heart health and our overall emotional, mental wellbeing, so I think don't forget to take care of the whole you," Dr. Frick said.

According to Dr. Frick, on average, about 1-2% of patients in the ER with some type of chest pain are diagnosed with broken heart syndrome. But that number has jumped to 7 or 8% during COVID-19 with the added stress of the pandemic.