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Broken heart syndrome is defined as a state of heart breakdown due to intense depression and it can be fatal in some cases. It can occur even when one has a healthy heart. What was recently found about this syndrome is that not only stressful or sad events can trigger it, but events of great happiness can also be responsible for heart damage similar to broken heart syndrome.
The syndrome is also called cardiomyopathy or taktsubo cardiomyopathy. Women are more prone to the condition than males. This is generally caused by death of loved ones, divorce, breakup, betrayal and also due to events which provided sudden happiness such as wining a lottery. This is linked to heart attack despite that there is no blockage in the heart arteries, which normally happens in case of a heart attack. The symptoms of both syndrome and heart attack are similar that’s why both are correlated.
What actually happens during broken heart syndrome is severe chest pain as heart muscles go weak suddenly, the left ventricle, chamber which pushes oxygen-rich blood through the body, temporally becomes bigger and starts pumping the blood abnormally. There is shortness of breath. It gets serious only in rare cases, those in which it causes death. In most of the cases, such conditions are recovered within a weak.
To find out whether happy moments have same influence on the syndrome, a pair of researchers in Switzerland, Christian Templin and Jelena Ghadri, both of University Hospital Zurich, tracked cases of syndrome globally. In five years, data of 1,750 cases of the Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) had been collected by the network of 25 hospitals spread across nine countries.
They found that 485 cases suffered from emotional turmoil and 4% of the cases were due to “happy heart syndrome”, a state likely to occur due to joyfulness. “We have shown that the triggers for TTS can be more varied than previously thought. The disease can be preceded by positive emotions too”, said Dr. Ghadri.