Friday, December 14, 2007

Emotional shock/stress can kill

Apparently, you can die of a broken heart or be scared to death or similar events.

Today (or yesterday) in the National Association of Medical Examiner’s listserv someone pointed to an article on Medscape (originally from Nature Clinical Practice Cardiovascular Medicine) about Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy, also know as stress cardiomyopathy.

It seems that extremely stressful events (either emotionally or physically stressful) can stun the heart. The stunned heart doesn’t pump well, there may be chest pain, and because it is epinephrine (or adrenaline) mediated there is also the risk of dysrthymia. Death can result either from the pump problem of the rhythm problem.

So stay mellow out there.

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