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Disease Profile

Broken heart syndrome

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset

All ages





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

Transient antero-apical dyskinesia; Tako-tsubo cardiomyopathy; Tako-tsubo syndrome;


Heart Diseases


Broken heart syndrome is a temporary condition that affects the heart. In people with this condition, extreme emotional or physical stress (i.e. intense grief, anger, surprise, illness or surgery) can lead to heart muscle failure. Signs and symptoms of the condition mimic those of a heart attack and may include sudden chest pain, shortness of breath, and an irregular heartbeat. The cause of broken heart syndrome is not completely understood. Some researchers believe that it may occur when certain hormones released during times of stress temporarily affect the heart's ability to pump blood throughout the body. Treatment is available to manage the symptoms of the condition. Fortunately, most affected people have a full and quick recovery with no permanent damage to the heart muscle.[1][2][3]


Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

Social Networking Websites

    Organizations Providing General Support

      Learn more

      These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

      Where to Start

      • The American Heart Association has an information page on Broken heart syndrome. The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke.
      • The Mayo Clinic Web site provides further information on Broken heart syndrome.

        In-Depth Information

        • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
        • MeSH® (Medical Subject Headings) is a terminology tool used by the National Library of Medicine. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
        • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
        • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
        • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Broken heart syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


          1. Eric B Tomich, DO. Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy. Medscape Reference. January 2017; https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1513631-overview.
          2. Mayo Clinic Staff. Broken Heart Syndrome. Mayo Clinic. November 2016; https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/broken-heart-syndrome/home/ovc-20264165.
          3. What is Broken Heart Syndrome. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. October 2014; https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/broken-heart-syndrome.