, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 273-275
Date: 11 Apr 2013

Personality Factors, Emotional Triggers and Acute Cardiac Events: a Comment on Compare et al.

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In this edition of the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, Compare, Steptoe and colleagues [1] describe the association between Type D personality and stress-induced cardiomyopathy. Scientific and clinical interest in this acute cardiac condition is increasing [2], and the syndrome is also often referred to as “takotsubo cardiomyopathy” [3] or “apical ballooning syndrome” [4]. The emotional triggering of apical ballooning has been documented in animal models of experimental stress [5] and in meta-analytical research in humans [6]. About 75 % of the patients with apical ballooning syndrome report a preceding event including physical and/or emotional distress [3]. In the study of Compare and colleagues, only those acute cardiomyopathy admissions that were precipitated by an emotional (37 cases) or physical (38 cases) trigger were included [1]. Therefore, the investigators’ use of the term “stress cardiomyopathy” seems accurate, and will also be used here.

Stress cardiomyopathy is characterized