Death by broken heart … via @guardianscience

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You what? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Happy Valentine’s day.
Here’s a bit more…

You can die of ‘broken heart syndrome’

Researchers are looking at a potentially fatal heart condition that results from sudden intense emotions such as grief

Can you die of a broken heart? It can certainly feel that way, and anyone who experiences intense grief after losing a loved one may wonder whether they will survive.Dr Alexander Lyon, who is a consultant cardiologist at the Royal Brompton, the specialist heart and lung hospital, is working with researchers at Imperial College to understand why some people die in the few days after a sudden, devastating loss.

A rush of overwhelming fear or extreme pain are the types of shock he says might also lead to catastrophic heart failure. But it’s not just “bad” emotions that can trigger a condition known as “broken heart syndrome”, Lyon says – it could equally be the shock of intense, unexpected happiness, such as winning the lottery.

The trigger for the syndrome – also called stress cardiomyopathy or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy – is the body’s sudden, massive release of adrenaline, which can “stun” the bottom half of the main pumping chamber of the heart, in effect paralysing it and requiring the top portion of the chamber to work much harder to compensate…

© Louise Tickle for Monday 13 February 2012 22.29.

Author: littlemissmandu

Polymath. Writer. Square Eyes. Geek. Eurasian Daisy Steiner. Best Cheerleader '93.

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