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Abnormal blood vessel function found in women with broken heart syndrome
Date:11/29/2010

fore and after the stress tests, and blood vessel function was measured with noninvasive devices such as blood pressure arm and finger cuffs.

In the ABS women, researchers found increased vascular reactivity and decreased endothelial function in response to acute mental stress compared to other postmenopausal women and the women who had regular heart attacks.

"In the ABS patients, rather than the blood vessel getting bigger to provide more blood during mental stress, the blood vessel gets smaller and prevents the blood from going where it's needed," explained Dr. Lerman. "This study tells us there is a group of women patients who are more sensitive to mental stress, which is a unique risk factor for them to have an ABS-type heart attack. The body's response to mental stress plays a significant role in ABS syndrome."

Dr. Lerman and his team are working to develop treatment options for ABS patients. "It's possible that we could identify these stress-sensitive patients with a mental stress test," Dr. Lerman says. "If we discover that some patients are more sensitive to mental stress in this way, we could design specific therapies to aid them if they have an ABS attack or to prevent its recurrence."


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Contact: Traci Klein
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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