Prayer #111: For the Increase of the "Broken Heart Syndrome" During the COVID-19 Crisis
A study released by the Journal of American Medicine last week reported that incidents of cardiomyopathy, or "broken heart syndrome," have increased during the Coronavirus crisis. Conducted by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic at two Ohio hospitals, the study examined 1,914 patients, 250 of which had been hospitalized in March and April. These patients were compared to others who had shown similar problems over the last two years.
Stress cardiomyopathy---Takosubo Syndrome or "Broken Heart Syndrome"---occurs when the heart muscles weaken, leading to chest pain and shortness of breath. It presents itself as a heart attack but is actually triggered by stressful events, not blockages in arteries.
The study found that patients were two times more likely to have broken heart syndrome during the COVID-19 pandemic than at other times. The researchers concluded that this was due to the "psychological, social, and economic stress" caused by the pandemic, which "imposed quarantine, lack of social interaction, strict physical distancing rules, and its economic consequences in people's lives." None of the patients tested in the study tested positive for COVID-19.
"The pandemic has created a parallel environment which is not healthy," stated Dr. Ankur Kalra, the cardiologist who led the study. "Emotional distancing is not healthy. The economic impact is not healthy. We've seen that as an increase in non-Coronavirus deaths, and our study says that stress cardiomyopathy has gone up because of the stress that the pandemic has created."
We want to pray fervently today for the many people who are under stress during the Coronavirus crisis. Pray that they would run to God during this time of great stress. Pray that they would come to know the God of all comfort. Continue to pray for physicians and health officials as they seek to learn what the mental and emotional effects of the virus pandemic truly are.
Job 5:11: "He sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety."