STATES CHRONICLE – The “broken heart syndrome” was first discovered in the early ‘90s and goes by the scientific name of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy or TTS. We’ve all heard of broken hearts, or we even felt our own heart was broken at some point, but this is actually a real condition.
The broken heart syndrome or TTS is said to be caused by sadness only and what happens is that the heart muscles weaken which causes a ventricle to pop. However, in a new study, researchers managed to find 20 cases in which a heart got broken by happiness. This is the first time when a positive factor leads to something this negative.
What the scientists discovered could suggest that both happiness and sadness use the same neural pathways. TTS was first found by scientists doing autopsies on people who died from assaults but without being injured.
However, the first case of TTS in the U.S. wasn’t documented until seven years later, in 1998. Only starting with the early 2000s did scientists really started to take the condition seriously and studied it and linked it to extreme sadness.
For the latest study, the lead researcher, Dr. Jelena Ghadri established a database with TTS patients, who described their condition, mentioning happy events as well, and not just sad events. The team chose only the first 1750 patients registered to conduct the study on.
95 percent of them were women coming from different countries with the average age of 65. From all 1750 cases, 485 happened because of an emotional event. Moreover, 20 of the cases happened because of a happy event. Researchers decided to call the phenomenon “the happy heart syndrome”.
Among the happy events which caused the TTS were anniversaries, weddings, casino wins or grandchildren’s birth. Although it might happen more rarely, doctors should be aware of the fact that TTS can be caused by emotional events whether they are sad or happy and act accordingly.
A patient, who shows signs of heart attack like breathlessness and chest pain, could have TTS, even if they’re coming from a wedding.
Although the results were conclusive and suggested that happy events could also have a negative impact on our hearts, more research must be done to learn exactly how often this could happen and whether or not we could avoid it.
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