The role of psychological factors in the onset of takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TC) is still controversial. Associations with previous psychiatric conditions are registry-based; associations with personality characteristics and psychological sequelae of TC have been largely unexplored. This case–control study sought to study pre-admission psychiatric morbidity, personality traits, and post-discharge distress in incident cases of TC.Methods
TC cases (Mayo clinic criteria) and acute myocardial infarction (MI) controls were recruited among women admitted to two Emergency Departments in New England. Healthy controls (HC) were recruited from a volunteers' registry. Preadmission psychiatric history (DSM-IV-TR) was abstracted from the medical record. PTSD symptoms (Impact of Events Scale); distress (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale); perceived stress (PS scale) and personality traits (optimism; hostility, type D personality) were collected via phone interview one month after discharge.Results
From March 2013 through October 2015, 107 participants (45 TC, 32 MI and 30 HC) were enrolled. The prevalence of preadmission anxiety disorders was 24.4% in TC, 9.4% in MI, and 0 in HC (p = 0.007) while that of mood disorders was similar across groups. TC had higher psychological distress, perceived stress, and PTSD symptoms post-discharge vs. MI and HC. In adjusted models, PTSD symptoms remained higher in TC vs. MI (b = 0.55, p < 0.05) and vs. HC (b = 0.92, p < 0.01). Optimism and hostility scores were similar across groups, while type D (social inhibition) scores were higher in TC and MI vs. HC.Conclusions
Preadmission anxiety, but not depression, was associated with the occurrence of TC. High distress and PTSD symptoms post-discharge indicate that TC women may be at risk for poor psychological adjustment.