Happiness Might Sometimes Be Bad For Your Heart

New research suggests broken heart syndrome might not only result from negative emotions but could also be caused by happy emotions.

By Ben Lawson | March 3, 2016

It turns out a condition sometimes called broken heart syndrome might be caused by happiness as well as sadness.

The condition is officially called Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy. It causes a weakening of the heart muscles that leads to a ventricle ballooning.

It was previously believed to be caused by negative emotions, like grief, stress or fear. But recent research suggests positive events in a person's life also might sometimes trigger the condition.

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Researchers found 20 cases from around the world where people developed the condition after happy events, like a son's wedding, a grandchild's birth or even a birthday party.

The type of people affected by "happy" heart syndrome are largely similar to the patients who developed broken heart syndrome. Both groups were around 95 percent women. The average age for "happy" heart patients is about 71 and the average age for "broken" heart patients is about 65.

Researchers speculate that happy and sad events could share similar emotional pathways, which is why they might both trigger the syndrome.

The study, published in the European Heart Journal, says more research is needed to better understand how positive emotions might trigger the condition. Researchers also say the findings could help better understand how emotional state affects a person's overall health.

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