Broken Heart Syndrome

The emotion that can break your heart is sometimes the very one that heals it - Nicholas Spa

Broken Heart Syndrome
Broken Heart Syndrome

image by: David Goehring

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Broken Hearts Can Be A Matter Of Life And Death: The Real Dangers Of Heartbreak

The proverbial broken heart threatens anyone brave enough to put his love and trust into someone else’s hands. It’s that emotional phenomenon your mother warned you about during infamous teen angst years. But what happens when a broken heart is more than just a flood of feelings and actually enters into a physical, sometimes life-threatening state?

You’ve just been broken up with, or worse, a loved one has died and you feel the physical ache within the left cavity of your chest. You may be experiencing a rite of passage through adulthood’s love and loss, or you could be experiencing a life-threatening condition — broken heart syndrome. The blood pumping in and out of your heart becomes…

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 Broken Hearts Can Be A Matter Of Life And Death: The Real Dangers Of Heartbreak

The more fragile a person's health is, the more likely his broken heart could worsen his medical condition. So be gentle with people's hearts, as you would want them to be gentle with your own.

Ladywithatruck's Blog

A typical stressful event that may bring on Broken Heart Syndrome are, a sudden death of a loved one, a big financial loss, domestic abuse, sudden job loss etc.

Sciences in the Mural of Life

My non-expert notion is that it’s tied in to the chemical characteristics of post-menopause. Women in that stage of their lives have less 17 ß-estradiol, the main estrogen hormone, and lower concentrations of other sex hormones.

Harvard Health Publications

Most of the abnormalities in systolic function and ventricle wall movement clear up in one to four weeks, and most patients recover fully within two months. Death is rare, but heart failure occurs in about 20% of patients. It’s treated with diuretics, agents that improve heart muscle contraction, and other therapies.

Life in the Fastlane

Tako-tsubo cardiomyopathy is indistinguishable from a STEMI in the ED. No criteria can be safely used to differentiate between the two conditions. You should activate your local code STEMI protocol.

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

Most people who experience broken heart syndrome think they may be having a heart attack, a more common medical emergency caused by a blocked coronary (heart) artery. The two conditions have similar symptoms, including chest pain and shortness of breath. However, there’s no evidence of blocked coronary arteries in broken heart syndrome, and most people have a full and quick recovery.


Stress cardiomyopathy (also called apical ballooning syndrome, takotsubo cardiomyopathy, broken heart syndrome, and stress-induced cardiomyopathy) is a syndrome characterized by transient regional systolic dysfunction of the left ventricle (LV), mimicking myocardial infarction, but in the absence of angiographic evidence of obstructive coronary artery disease or acute plaque rupture.


Broken heart syndrome affects women far more often than men. It appears that most people who have broken heart syndrome are women 50 or older.


Whether preceded by the sudden death of a loved one, a frightening medical diagnosis, a car accident or even a surprise party, the phenomenon is 7.5 times more common in females, and women older than 55 are 2.9 times more likely to develop broken heart syndrome than younger women, the researchers found.


Medical professionals are becoming increasingly aware of a condition called broken heart syndrome, or stress-induced cardiomyopathy, which is often brought on by emotional or physical trauma, and tends to mimic a heart attack. Essentially, researchers have found that our hearts really can “break” when we are grieving or experiencing stressful life events.

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