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I can imagine everyone at some point has been unlucky in love and experienced what a broken heart feels like, but did you realise this is actually a diagnosed medical condition called stress cardiomyopathy or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy?

This curious condition was first described in Japan in the 1990's and referred to as Takotsubo cardiomyopathy due to the Japanese word takotsubo meaning “octopus trap,” because the left ventricle takes on a shape resembling a fishing pot.

It is thought that high levels of stress (e.g. during a break up) increases the release of stress hormones (such as adrenaline) that affect the heart, triggering alterations in heart muscle cells or coronary blood vessels (or both) that prevent the left ventricle from contracting effectively. With the symptoms perfectly mimicking a heart attack.

Thankfully the condition is reversable and the vast majority of cases make a full recovery.

This is just one of the variety of interesting topics our students choose to investigate for the their research projects.

So whether you're in love or unlucky in love, come and join us here at the University of Chester to undertake one of our exciting courses such as the MSc Cardiovascular Health and Rehabilitation.

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