Dying of a Broken Heart

by MSO
x ray with red heart broken in half

During an average life time your heart will beat 2.5 billion times.

Everyone has heard the metaphor suffering from a broken heart, but researchers now say dying of a broken heart is possible.

Researchers believe this scientific theory may be true after Derek Raymond, 67, received a phone call telling him his daughter Susan had died. He collapsed and died within 30 minutes. It is believed that Raymond most likely didn’t die of a heart attack but, Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy, also known as Broken Heart Syndrome. A tako tsubo is a Japanese fishing pot used to catch octopuses. The octopus resembles what the heart looks like when it is shocked by stress hormones such as adrenalin and noradrenalin. The heart beats an average of 100,000 times a day, every day. It can no longer move when it is smothered by one of its inflated chambers.

Stress and social connections are major factors that play a part in a person’s health and determine the likeliness of someone dying of a broken heart. You hear stories of elderly couples who have spent their entire lives together, and when one dies the other follows shortly after. A study in The New England Journal of Medicine shows that elderly people have a 20 per cent increased risk of dying when their partner dies.

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