Turns out time may never heal a broken heart (take that, mum).
Researchers at the University of Aberdeen studied ‘broken heart syndrome’ – officially known as takotsubo syndrome – to find out just how emotional stress can affect your heart’s functionality.
Broken heart syndrome affects around 3000 people in the UK every year. Similar to a heart attack, the condition is triggered by severe stress such as from a break-up or grief.
When a person experiences broken heart syndrome, their heart muscle will strain and struggle to contract, restricting its ability to pump blood around the body.
In the study which was funded by the British Heart Foundation, 52 patients suffering from the heartache syndrome were examined.
Researchers used a number of scans including ultrasound and MRI to see how extreme stress had affected the heart’s functionality. They found that the effects of the stress caused heartbeats to slow down and heart muscle contractions to reduce.
These effects could remain for up to four months after the person had first experienced the condition.
What’s more shocking is that scientists also found tiny scars on the heart which had replaced the damaged muscles. As we know, scars are a permanent thing, meaning that there’s the potential for your broken heart to never fully heal.
What a revelation.
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