Too much happiness could trigger a heart attack, a new study has found. Scientists are now saying extreme emotional distress can cause a potentially fatal weakening of the heart.
But new research has discovered that the same can occur from sheer joy, leading scientists to coin it ‘happy heart syndrome’.
But the new research came after researchers analysed data from 1,750 patients diagnosed with TTS in nine different countries.
Of 485 patients for whom definite emotional trigger could be identified, 96% had suffered sad and stressful events such as the loss of a loved one, attending a funeral, being hurt in an accident, or experiencing an illness or relationship problems.
In the case of other individuals, heart damage appeared to have been triggered by happy occasions including a birthday party, wedding, surprise celebration, the birth of a grandchild, or a favourite rugby team winning a game.
Dr Jelena Ghadri, from University Hospital Zurich in Switzerland – where the world’s first TTS registry is based, said: “We have shown that the triggers for TTS can be more varied than previously thought.
“A TTS patient is no longer the classic ‘broken hearted’ patient, and the disease can be preceded by positive emotions too.”
The doctor continued: “Clinicians should be aware of this and also consider that patients who arrive in the emergency department with signs of heart attacks, such as chest pain and breathlessness, but after a happy event or emotion, could be suffering from TTS just as much as a similar patient presenting after a negative emotional event.
“Our findings broaden the clinical spectrum of TTS. They also suggest that happy and sad life events may share similar emotional pathways that can ultimately cause TTS.”