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He died of a broken heart essay

You Really Can Die of a Broken Heart

Share via Email A recent study shows that the risk of dying suddenly from a cardiac arrest is 16 times higher the day after losing a spouse. It can certainly feel that way, and anyone who experiences intense grief after losing a loved one may wonder whether they will survive. Dr Alexander Lyon, who is a consultant cardiologist at the Royal Brompton, the specialist heart and lung hospital, is working with researchers at Imperial College to understand why some people die in the few days after a sudden, devastating loss.

  • He is also setting up a European network of doctors interested in the condition, who will pool their results to increase understanding of this newly emerging condition;
  • That's why rejected lovers get frantic and tend to relentlessly pursue their beloved.

A rush of overwhelming fear or extreme pain are the types of shock he says might also lead to catastrophic heart failure. But it's not just "bad" emotions that can trigger a condition known as "broken heart syndrome", Lyon says — it could equally be the shock of intense, unexpected happiness, such as winning the lottery. The trigger for the syndrome — also called stress cardiomyopathy or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy — is the body's sudden, massive release of adrenaline, which can "stun" the bottom half of the main pumping chamber of the heart, in effect paralysing it and requiring the top portion of the chamber to work much harder to compensate.

He Died, Of A Broken Heart

This, says Lyon, can be confusing to someone attempting a diagnosis, as doctors are taught that adrenaline is the "fight or flight" hormone that makes hearts pump faster and stronger. Broken heart syndrome is a condition in which adrenaline causes weakness instead. In his research Lyon is trying to find out why this type of acute stress causes the heart to get weaker, why just one part of the heart is affected by the adrenaline surge, and what factors make some people particularly susceptible — or resilient — to the hormone rush.

To expand his research sample, he's inviting anyone who thinks they may have experienced Takotsubo cardiomyopathy to contact him a. Although, he says, the condition is little known and many of the typical symptoms indicate a standard heart attack caused by a blockage to a coronary artery. This means the patient may be misdiagnosed initially. Reliable numbers of cases are hard to come by as there is currently no official tag for logging stress cardiomyopathy as a diagnosis on relevant databases.

Can You Die From a Broken Heart?

Lyon, however, has lobbied to get the syndrome added as a datapoint, so proper statistics will soon become available. He is also setting up a European network of doctors interested in the condition, who will pool their results to increase understanding of this newly emerging condition.

Over 10 years, that could be up to 60,000 cases. And Lyon suggests that rather more people may be dying suddenly of the condition before arriving at hospital, without an accurate diagnosis ever being made either pre- or post-mortem. Dying of a "broken heart", therefore, may be more common than imagined.

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We then look at the pumping chamber and it's paralysed, plus it's taken on a unique and abnormal shape; it looks like a Japanese fisherman's octopus pot, called Takotsubo, hence its name. Lyon suggests that men may in fact be suffering from the condition — but collapse and die before reaching hospital and medical attention.

But for many women there is another stress, childbirth, which may happen multiple times. It would be odd if these repeated stresses gave rise to a life-threatening heart condition, so we think women have a protective factor, which, after menopause, may drop off. The real cause of death may not be obvious to the pathologist, he says. Sudden deaths in otherwise healthy young men in custody, young men who are high on drugs and have been forcibly restrained, and deaths under restraint in psychiatric hospitals, are all situations in which Lyon says stress cardiomyopathy should be considered.

It may be happening far more often than is reported. The answer, it seems, is that during the few days after experiencing extreme stress of this nature, it is possible he died of a broken heart essay a thought that might prompt GPs to consider how to support people in such situations. A recent study shows that the risk of dying suddenly from a cardiac arrest is 16 times higher the day after losing a spouse.

The Broken Heart by William Barnes

A cheery thought for Valentine's Day lovers looking forward to a long and happy life together… Contact Dr Lyon at a.