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Circulation Journal
Vol. 70 (2006) No. 8 p. 947-953



Clinical Investigation

Background On October 23, 2004, a major earthquake, which registered 6.8 on the Richter scale, occurred in Niigata Prefecture in Japan. Emotional stress is important as a trigger of transient left ventricular apical ballooning (so-called `Takotsubo' cardiomyopathy), but its incidence and clinical profile immediately after a natural disaster have not been fully elucidated. Methods and Results `Takotsubo' cardiomyopathy was diagnosed in 16 patients (1 man, 15 women, mean age 71.5 years) within 1 month after the earthquake. Of them, 13 (81%) lived in areas where the Japan Meteorological Agency seismic intensity scale registered 6 or above, and 11 (69%) developed symptoms on the day of the earthquake. The incidence of `Takotsubo' cardiomyopathy 1 month after the earthquake was approximately 24-fold higher near the epicenter than that before the earthquake. Conclusion `Takotsubo' cardiomyopathy can occur on the day of the earthquake in elderly women living near the epicenter. (Circ J 2006; 70: 947 - 953)


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