With Israeli troops sent off to a raging war in Gaza, stressed Israeli mothers with sons and daughters in the military have flooded at least one hospital as they suffer from what's commonly referred to as "broken heart syndrome."
Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera, a city on the Israeli coast, has reported a significant rise in women in their 50s rushing into the emergency room with heart attack symptoms, according to a report from the Israeli publication Doctors Only, cited by the Times of Israel.
While doctors have found some of them have suffered actual cardiac arrest, many of the patients were diagnosed with Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, also known as "broken heart syndrome," the Times reported.
In most of the cases, the symptoms have been brought on by increased stress suffered by women whose adult children are actively serving in the Israel Defense Forces, which is now fighting in its second month of war against Hamas.
The condition is triggered by severe psychological stress, which bumps up adrenaline and temporarily slows down heart function.
“This is the first time we have more women than men in our cardiac intensive care unit,” Professor Ariel Rogin, who helms the hospital's cardiac division, told Doctors Only.
Israeli officials have said the ongoing war has deteriorated the nation's mental health.
Last week, Moshe Bar Siman Tov, the director general of Israel's Ministry of Health, called the ongoing war "a national mental health event."
He said officials have already seen a significant rise in the demand for mental health care and help and expect there will be another increase as the war continues.
More than a month after Hamas fighters stormed the Supernova music festival in Israel and slaughtered some 260 people on Oct. 7, there are an estimated 18 survivors receiving treatment in psychiatric hospitals, including least 10 who were reportedly being held against their will.
Hamas' attack left some 1,200 people dead across southern Israel. Another 240 people were taken hostage.
According to the Times, 65 Israeli soldiers have been killed during the war.
The Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza has reported more than 13,000 deaths since the fighting began.