(Mirror Daily, United States) – Surely you heard about the “broken heart syndrome”, there is even a saying “he died of a broken heart” that refers to people who experienced a heart attack after going through a sad event. But researchers now found that a heart can also be broken by a happy event, meaning that people have suffered heart attacks after experiencing joyful moments.
According to previous studies, the heart can be “broken” when an individual experiences extreme emotions like anger, fear and grief. These feelings can trigger breathlessness, chest pain, heart failure, heart attack, and in some circumstances death.
But dying of a broken heart, or takotsubo syndrome is relatively rare. The medical explanation of this rather romantic condition is simple. The syndrome appears after a sudden and temporary heart muscles weakening. This causes the ventricle from the left side of the heart, which serves as the primary pumping chamber, to become inefficient in its actions.
In more simple terms, takotsubo syndrome renders the central feature of the heart, pumping blood, slow and ineffective. So basically, it breaks it.
And the new research suggests that a heart can also be broken by a happy event, as well. Some patients developed the syndrome after participating at a wedding, a farewell celebration, the birth of a new family member, or a birthday party.
In order to reach these conclusions, a resident cardiologist at Switzerland’s Zurich University Hospital, Jelena Ghadri, analyzed medical information pertaining to 1750 patients that were diagnosed with “broken heart syndrome”.
From the total number, 485 cases were triggered by emotional events. But sadness, anger, and negative emotions in general still take the lead as they were responsible for 96 percent of the emotionally-induced takotsubo syndrome cases. Positive, happy feelings only triggered four cases of “broken heart syndrome”.
Ghadri explained this anomaly by saying that both happy and sad events share matching emotional pathways. So the nature of the feeling is not as important as its intensity.
What is more surprising is that the majority of patients that suffered from takotsubo syndrome were women. Approximately 95 percent of the affected individuals were females aged 65 and higher.
The broken heart condition was attributed to women above the age of 65 and the happy heart disorder to those aged 71 and higher.
According to Ghadri, the results only reinforce the idea that postmenopausal women are more prone to such heart events. The researcher also mentioned that further research is needed in order for the scientists to understand the exact mechanism that leads to a broken heart.