Happiness Can Cause Heart Problems


For a long time we have known that sadness or a stressful event can cause heart muscles to become weaker.  This may cause shortness of breath, a pain in the chest and may eventually lead to a heart attack. Now, a study published by the European Heart Journal claims that happiness can also lead to the same symptoms.

Swiss researchers at the University of Zurich  looked at data coming from almost 500 patients in 9 countries who were likely to acquire such a broken heart disease. In most cases the death of a family member or close relative, an accident, divorce or other relationship problems  caused such a heart weakness.

However, in 20 patients the same symptoms were triggered by happy and joyful events, such as birthday parties, weddings, the birth of a grandchild or after their favourite team had won a competition. Experts call this the happy heart syndrome.

The researchers point out that doctors should be aware of both sides when treating patientsAccording to the study reasons for a broken heart syndrome may be more widespread than previously considered. The study has also found out that in over 90% of the cases older women over 60 were at risk.



What exactly causes such a syndrome remains unknown. The broken heart syndrome was first witnessed in Japan in 1990. At the beginning it was connected to negative emotions that lead to an increase in hormones. Doctors believe that emotional reactions make the nervous system behave in a certain way.



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  • according to = as said by ....
  • acquire = get
  • at risk = in danger
  • aware = know that something exists
  • behave = act
  • cause = lead to
  • certain = special
  • chest = the part of your body between the stomach and the neck ; where the heart and lungs are located
  • claim = say that something is true
  • close relative = family member who is near to you
  • competition = here: game or sports event
  • connect to = link to
  • considered = thought
  • data = information
  • divorce = when husband and wife end their marriage
  • eventually = slowly
  • heart attack = situation in which your heart does not get enough blood; it becomes weaker and you may die
  • hormone = chemical that our body produces and which influences the way we grow and develop
  • however = but
  • increase = to become larger or more
  • joyful = very happy
  • lead  to = cause
  • likely = probably
  • muscle = a body part that you use  to move; it connects your bones together
  • nervous system = your nerves, brain, and backbone, with which your body feels pain, heat etc; it also controls how you move
  • pain = when something hurts in your body
  • patient = here: a person who has the illness
  • point out = make clear
  • previously = earlier; in the past
  • publish = show to the public or the media
  • remain = stay ; is still
  • researcher = person who studies a topic and tries to find out more about it
  • sadness = being sad
  • shortness of breath = the feeling of not getting enough air when you breathe
  • study = when you look at something closely in order to find out new facts
  • symptom = something  wrong with your body that may show an illness
  • treat = use medicine to cure a person of a disease or illness
  • trigger = to cause something bad to start
  • weakness = not being very strong
  • widespread = common ; happen very often
  • witness = to see something for the first time