Happiness can break your heart too

Scientists say it isn't just sad things that make us brokenhearted. Happy events can also be bad for our heart. A broken heart is a real illness. It's not just the sadness we feel when something bad happens. We get broken heart syndrome when we are stressed and during emotional times, such as a relationship breakup, the death of family and friends, or the loss of a job. The medical name for this is Takotsubo Syndrome (TTS). People can get it, and be at risk of death, when very happy things happen. The doctors who discovered this have called it "happy heart syndrome".

The study is published in the European Heart Journal. Heart expert Dr Jelena Ghadri analysed data from 1,750 patients who suffered from TTS. The patients were from nine different countries. They found that 485 patients got TTS because of an emotional event. Twenty of these had TTS because of a happy event. The patients had heart problems after birthday parties, weddings, favourite sports teams winning, and the birth of grandchildren. Dr Ghadri said our brain may think happy and sad events are similar, so both can result in Takotsubo Syndrome.