Happiness can break your heart

Happiness can break your heart

A heart-weakening syndrome triggered by emotional events, like the death of a parent or spouse, can also be caused by extreme happiness, scientists believe.  A rare condition known as “broken heart” or Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) is usually set off by intense grief and causes the heart to become weaker.

Named after a Japanese octopus trap that resembles the bulbous shape of the left ventricle of a heart affected by TTS, the condition can put the patient at risk of experiencing a heart attack.

However, the TSS is generally reversible and temporary, and is unlikely to recur, according to the British Heart Foundation.  Scientists believe that TTS is caused by links between a psychologically taxing events and the cardiovascular system.   But the new study showed that joyous events can have the same affect, and have named the condition “happy heart syndrome.”

Swiss researchers used data from 1,750 patients diagnosed with TTS across nine different countries. They found that of the 485 people whose illness was triggered by an emotional event, 96 per cent had experienced bereavement, were hurt in an accident, or dealt with relationships issues.  Read more

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