Stress, sadness really can break your heart

(Kathleen Doheny/ WebMD) — The loss of a spouse. The loss of a pet.

Researchers have confirmed in recent years what people long suspected: Extreme stress can literally break your heart. And as they learn more about the relatively rare condition, they are finding that it’s not only caused by the loss of a loved one. Medical treatments, job loss, and other major life stressors have been linked to the condition.

The syndrome, known medically as takotsubo cardiomyopathy, mainly affects women. While the medical literature on broken heart syndrome is sparse, more cases are coming to light, with additional information about how it happens and how long-term the risks are.

Earlier this year, Canadian researchers reported a case of broken heart syndrome in a 63-year-old woman on treatments for metastatic breast cancer. (…)

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