According to research studies – people have died as a result of a broken heart.
When a relationship ends, particularly a long-term relationship, the pain and sorrow experienced by the rejected person is referred to as having ‘a broken heart’. There is a lot to be said for the term ‘she died of a broken heart’ or ‘he is heartbroken’ etc, as research has proved that acute emotional pain – resulting from the loss of a partner can decrease your own life expectancy. The term was once considered to be a myth but the suffering of a broken heart has now been accepted medically and is referred to ‘broken heart syndrome’, (stress cardiomyopathy).
How can stress affect my heart physically?
The heart is affected by a surge of chemicals released by strong emotion, fear or sadness. Dr Marcus Gray, BSMS, quotes – ‘We know that stress can increase the risk of sudden death through cardiac arrest and that the brain areas responsible for regulating heart function can be unbalanced by stress. Also:
Cardiologist Dr. Ilan Wittstein, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine /Heart Institute, quotes – ‘When suffering from a broken heart, some people can recover quickly, but for others, broken heart syndrome could prove fatal’.
Past records conclude that women are more prone to die from ‘broken heart syndrome..
Yet science has yet to establish exactly why women would be more vulnerable, but one theory is that it may be due to a difference in female hormones or how their brains are wired to their hearts.
There have been several recorded incidents where Doctors have no other medical explanation for a person’s cardiac arrest other than ‘broken heart syndrome. For example – a slim healthy 37 year old woman suffered a cardiac arrest following the death of her sister who died suddenly in a road traffic accident. She had no history of heart problems or disease and her devastated husband is convinced that she died of a broken heart .