The medical community has known for a long time that a condition called a condition called takotsubo cardiomyopathy, or broken heart syndrome exists. The syndrome produces symptoms that look very much like a heart attack and can cause sudden and unexpected death.
In fact, it is not at all uncommon to hear stories about long-married couples who die within days or even hours of each other. These people are typically victims of takotsubo cardiomyopathy. A new study published by the University of Birmingham in the U.K. may tell us why.
Dr Anna Phillips said: “I believe it is the answer to why we sometimes see wives and husbands dying soon after the death of a spouse, who is their main social support.
“They are not dying of a broken heart, but the effect the stress is having on their immune function.”
It is the first research to compare different generations and display the relationship between stress hormones and immune function across different stages in our life.
Read the full story: How a broken heart can kill the elderly.