Vol 25, No 4 (2018)
Original articles — Clinical cardiology
Published online: 2017-11-17

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Anxiety disorders and stressful events in Takotsubo syndrome

Davide Lazzeroni1, Matteo Bini2, Paolo Castiglioni1, Luca Moderato3, Chiara Ciracì4, Umberto Camaiora4, Pietro Tito Ugolotti4, Lorenzo Brambilla1, Valerio Brambilla4, Silvia Garibaldi4, Letizia Paglialonga4, Valentina Ziveri4, Fabrizio Ugo5, Nicola Gaibazzi6, Paolo Coruzzi7
Pubmed: 29168538
Cardiol J 2018;25(4):495-500.


Background: Anxiety disorders are more common in Takotsubo syndrome (TS) than in acute coronary syndrome patients. The aim of this study was to investigate whether pre-existing anxiety disorders predispose to TS triggered by exclusively emotional stressful events.
Methods: Triggering events were compared in 58 TS patients with and without pre-existing anxiety disorders; clinical, electrocardiographic and echocardiographic data were also collected.
Results: Thirty-one (53%) patients had a previous history of anxiety disorders. The exclusively emotional stressful event-rate was higher in TS patients with pre-existing anxiety disorder (74% vs. 30%, p = 0.001), while TS caused by an undetermined trigger were significantly higher in patients without anxiety disorders (33% vs. 10%, p = 0.027). Moreover, in TS patients without a previous history of anxiety disorders, a trend of higher prevalence of physical events was found (16% vs. 37%, p = 0.07).
Conclusions: In patients with pre-existing anxiety disorders, TS was predominantly triggered by exclusively emotional stressful events, thereby suggesting a possible relationship between anxiety and emotional cardiac frailty in TS patients.

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