HOME | |

Broken hearts and physical pain

Broken hearts and physical pain
Author image
Newstalk
18:37 Tuesday 25 September 2012

Heartbreak was thought to be an emotional state but studies now show that it can physically harm you.

Scientists say that extreme fear, anxiety and even surprise can damage your heart in what they call stress cardiomyopathy or “heartbreak syndrome”.

Dr Ilan Wittstein coined the term in 2005 for its association with the death of a loved one.

But, he says, it is not always triggered by grief. The extreme stress of an event releases a surge of adrenalin which paralyses the heart. It can’t squeeze normally and blood flow is reduced.

Broken heart syndrome feels similar to a heart attack but is not caused by a blocked artery.

Instead, the heart is “stunned” and usually recovers with no permanent damage, but in sever cases, a sufferer’s heart might fail.

Almost 90% of broken-heart patients are women – most of which are over the age of 55.

Wittstein and his team set up a stress cardiomyopathy registry in 1999 to understand the disease fully.

Related stories

[Need to Know] Chocolate could help reduce heart disease

comments powered by Disqus
  • newstalk.ie image

    Two Irish men drown in Crete

    newstalk.ie image

    Twitter reacts to Croke Park jet flyover

    newstalk.ie image

    Hacker posts naked photos of Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton among...

    newstalk.ie image

    Look who tried to skip the queue at Coppers over the weekend

    newstalk.ie image

    Man in stable condition after Dublin city shooting

    newstalk.ie image

    'Oldest woman ever' says chocolate is one of her secrets

    newstalk.ie image

    Two dead after four storey building collapses in Paris

    newstalk.ie image

    These Irish lads should be working for Fáilte Ireland

    newstalk.ie image

    Irish teenager ends hunger strike in Egypt

    newstalk.ie image

    Defence Minister reassures families that Irish peacekeepers are safe

  • newstalk.ie image

    Israeli plans for West Bank land grab described as...

    newstalk.ie image

    Dollymount parking and driving ban to be lifted for certain groups

    newstalk.ie image

    EU says it cannot intervene in Irish rural post office closures

    newstalk.ie image

    Man in stable condition after Dublin city shooting

    newstalk.ie image

    Talks expected to resume today over Ukraine crisis

    newstalk.ie image

    Early morning headlines from the newsroom

    newstalk.ie image

    Six people killed in Paris building collapse

    newstalk.ie image

    Ashya King's parents to appear in Spanish court today

    newstalk.ie image

    Weather forecast

    newstalk.ie image

    Ashya King's Parents Due In Court Tomorrow