Science Confirms Men Can Die From A Broken Heart

Science Confirms Men Can Die From A Broken Heart

CREATED Jan 17, 2012

Reporter:  Kimberly Romo

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - New data has been released that indicates men - even young men - really can die from a broken heart.  A recent study published in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation finds that a person who is grieving the death of a loved one has a 20% increased risk of a heart attack.  The scientists calculated a risk of a heart attack was 21 times higher within the first day of a loss, and six times higher within a week. 

That's why it's so important to recognize any physical symptoms you feel after experiencing a loss - and get help, instead of just ignoring them.  Dr. Grodon Ewy from the UA Sarver Heart Center says, "Severe shortness of breath, chest discomfort, heaviness in your chest, discomfort in your jaw, neck, arm.  Any of these symptoms are symptoms of a heart attack.  Call 911.  Get help.  Get somebody there.  Don't have somebody drive you to the hospital because if you have an arrest on the way, that's really bad news." 

For years, doctors have known that women can suffer from "broken heart syndrome" from losing a spouse, or from experiencing something overly emotional and traumatic.  In these cases, a woman's body can release a lot of adrenaline, which can cause a condition in which the heart weakens.