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Takotsubo is a temporary heart condition that typically occurs in women aged 58 to 70. Japanese researchers discovered this condition in 1990. Most people with takotsubo recover without lasting damage to their heart.


Takotsubo occurs when the left side of the heart weakens, typically in reaction to severe stress. Takotsubo is also known as broken-heart syndrome.

Medical professionals believe that a rush of stress hormones causes disruptions in the heart’s contractions. Lower levels of estrogen are thought to increase a woman’s risk of developing takotsubo.

Causes can include:

  • Severe medical condition
  • Extreme pain
  • Sudden drop in blood pressure
  • Domestic violence
  • Bad news
  • Serious accident
  • Sudden surprise


The main symptoms are chest pain and breathlessness. Other symptoms include:

  • Enlarged left ventricle
  • Chest pain
  • Electrical symptoms similar to a heart attack
  • Quick recovery (a month)

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