Can You Really Die From A Broken Heart? Yes, Yes You Can

Uh oh...

Hayley Mitchelhill-Miller

17 June 2018

Hayley Mitchelhill-Miller

Article heading image for Can You Really Die From A Broken Heart? Yes, Yes You Can

Following in the wise words of Billy Ray Cyrus, you better not break my achey-breaky heart, because it turns out you can actually die from it… 


Women’s Health recently spoke to cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr Nikki Stamp, who is also the author of the bestselling book, Can You Die From A Broken Heart?

Dr Stamp revealed that yes, yes you CAN die from a broken heart, but there’s a lot more to it than you think.

“All of our emotions connect to our body by setting off cascades of hormones like cortisol or adrenaline and this places quite a lot of stress on our hearts. 

“Plus, we also see a process of inflammation, which is the body’s way trying to fight off disease. In a stressful situation - or if this happens chronically - this can be quite damaging.”

It’s this exposure to stress that can result in a person suffering from a heart attack, which could turn fatal. 

The condition is called Takotsubo syndrome (broken heart syndrome) and is extremely rare. 

“For example, with elderly couples who pass away within days or weeks of each other, it is possible that the stress response triggered by the death of their loved one has aggravated any disease or health issues they already had.

“We’re all going to be heartbroken at some time in our lives, but for the vast majority of us this won’t cause us to have a true physical broken heart or even die of a broken heart during that period.”

The majority of those who suffer from this are women, who would otherwise be fit and healthy. 

Nikki continued, explaining “For some reason - which we don’t quite know the explanation for yet - their hearts are much more susceptible to the ill effects of stress.”

So, don’t go breaking my heart. 

Don’t go breaking anyone’s heart...


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