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Study says increased feelings of loneliness, social isolation are contributing to coronavirus spike

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Stress and anxiety can wreak havoc on our bodies. And we’re certainly seeing the impact during the age of COVID-19. But can emotional stress lead to a broken heart?

Weddings, canceled.

Graduations, canceled.

Visits with the grandparents, canceled.

Many of the things we look forward to or rely on in our daily lives have been canceled or closed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Prescriptions for anti-anxiety medications spiked this spring, and antidepressants like Zoloft have been added to the FDA’s list of drugs experiencing shortages.

With all of that, is there any wonder that researchers have found an increase in “Broken Heart Syndrome?”

A small study from the Cleveland Clinic found patients at two Ohio hospitals, who didn’t have coronavirus, were two times more likely to have Broken Heart Syndrome than before the pandemic.

Broken Heart Syndrome, or Takotsubo Syndrome, occurs when the heart muscles weaken, leading to chest pain and shortness of breath.

It presents like a heart attack and believed to be brought on by high levels of physical or emotional stress. While it can be deadly, most patients recover within days or weeks.

Researchers say the increase during this time was likely connected to the quarantine, lack of social interaction, strict physical distancing and economic impact of the pandemic.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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