Dying of a Broken Heart sounds like something out of a Grimm fairytale or a Shakespearean tragedy. An emotional trauma couldn’t possibly cause your physical heart to also weaken… or could it?
Turns out this is a very real thing that happens to people after times of intense emotional stress and according to a new study release in the Journal of the American Heart Association the rate of this type of heart disease is going up, up, up!
The clinical name of this phenomenon is called Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TTS) but is colloquially known as broken-heart syndrome and targets primarily women from ages 58-75.
While not always fatal, it can result in death in about 20% of cases.
There isn’t a lot of research on what exactly causes broken-heart syndrome, but the leading theory is that it is brought on by intense times of stress.
The data from this study was collected before the Covid-19 pandemic but the researchers estimate that the percentage of people effected by TTS has continued to increase considering the general global stress from the nearly two-year long pandemic.
While about 88% of those effected by TTS are in fact women, the increase of cases has been happened across the board with women AND men.
This is why taking care of your mental wellbeing is equally as important as taking care of your physical body because the two are so deeply intertwined.
Your mental health can absolutely be reflected in how you are physically feeling and when you’re physically ill or hurt it can affect your emotional wellness.
So, perhaps turn on an Elvis record (Heartbreak Hotel) take that yoga class, go on a walk, make a few new friends, reach out to family or colleagues you have not connected with in a while, read a book, do what’s relaxing for you and bring those stress levels down.
Chilling out a bit, may just save your life.