5-speed listening (Level 3)

Happiness can break your heart too



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Scientists have said it isn't just sad things that make us brokenhearted. Happy events can also be bad for our heart. A broken heart is an actual medical condition. It is not just the sadness we feel when someone we love does not return that love. We get broken heart syndrome when we are highly stressed. We also get it 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). Researchers say people can get TTS, and even be at risk of sudden death, when very happy things happen. The doctors who discovered this have called it "happy heart syndrome".

The researchers' study was published in the European Heart Journal on Thursday. Heart experts Dr Christian Templin and Dr Jelena Ghadri analysed data from 1,750 patients who suffered from Takotsubo Syndrome. The sufferers were from nine different countries. They found 485 patients got TTS because of an emotional happening. Twenty of these had TTS because of a happy or joyful event. The patients had heart problems after events like a birthday party, a wedding, a favourite sports team winning a game, and the birth of a grandchild. Dr Ghadri said our body and brain may think happy and sad events are similar, so both can result in Takotsubo Syndrome.

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