YOUR HEALTH MATTERS: ‘Broken Heart’ syndrome

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There’s no secret that your emotional well-being can have an affect on your physical health… but now evidence that there really might be something to the idea of suffering from a ‘broken heart.’

A look at that as we continue our focus on heart health this month.

It’s been hinted at for centuries, but it wasn’t until the 1970’s in Japan that something called ‘broken heart syndrome’ started being researched.

That’s when a person experiences heart attack-like symptoms, but isn’t actually having one.

Dr. Mahmoud Sharaf from Cardiovascular Associates at UnityPoint Health St. Luke’s says it seems to most often affect women between 50 and 70 years old who are going through exceptionally stressful situations.

Dr. Mahmoud Sharaf says, “When they were having very stressful emotional experiences, like the death of a loved one or domestic violence or some sort of argument, they were presenting as heart attacks, but when people went and did testing, the arteries were clean, but they were still behaving and presenting as if they were heart attacks.”

If you have heart attack like symptoms, it’s best not to risk it; you should seek immediate medical help.

Dr. Sharaf says this just underscores the importance for all around health – including mental health, because it can affect all areas of your life.

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