Sudden emotional stress may cause broken heart syndrome - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/2/09

Sudden emotional stress may cause broken heart syndrome

Posted:

By Kristin Beerman | email

Edited by Jon Bush | email 

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - You might have just thought it was an expression, but scientists say there really is such a thing as a broken heart. 

At Johns Hopkins, researchers have discovered that sudden emotional stress can result in severe, but reversible heart muscle weakness, which is called broken heart syndrome.  Some patients with this condition have been diagnosed with a massive heart attack, when instead they have suffered from an overdose of adrenalin and other stress hormones that eventually, but temporarily stun the heart.

"Despite the fact that it's not a heart attack, then people are still critically ill within that first few days," says Timothy Hadden, M.D., a cardiologist. 

Broken heart syndrome may still require several days or longer to recover from the dramatic increase in hormone levels.

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