'Broken heart' affects older women most

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy or ‘broken heart syndrome' is far more common than previously thought, especially among middle-aged women, Australian research reveals.

A study at two Adelaide hospitals found almost 10% of women over 50 who present with apparent ST-elevation MI (STEMI) in fact have the elusive condition.

'Broken heart syndrome' is often triggered by stress and is commonly misdiagnosed as MI. This can lead to inappropriate treatment with thrombolytics, whereas takotsubo typically resolves on its own.

Dr Betty Raman, who presented