Scientists say death of a partner may cause an actual ‘heartbreak’

Scientists say death of a partner may cause an actual ‘heartbreak’

A team of scientists have said that severely stressful life event of losing a partner might lead to irregular heartbeats and even a broken heart or atrial fibrillation lasting as many as a year.

The team of scientists at the Aarhus University in Denmark studied extensive nationwide data to find that people may face a higher risk of atrial fibrillation following a stressful evet. Atrial fibrillation is an unusual heart rhythm that is linked to stroke and heart attack. The researchers used Denmark's extensive medical records from 1995 to 2014 with access to details of 5.6 million inhabitants.

Simon Graff, the lead author of the study and works at the Aarhus University, said that the risk of developing atrial fibrillation is 41 per cent higher in people within 30 days of a bereavement compared to others as found in the control group. The results remained the same over gender, time of year, pre-existing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. He also found that the risk was higher among those younger than 60 years as they faced a greater than 50 per cent chance of developing atrial fibrillation.

Experts said that a rare condition known as "broken heart" or Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) is normally caused by intense grief and causes the heart ot become weak. The condition is named after a Japanese octopus trap that resembles the bulbous shape of the left ventricle of a heart affected by TTS. Experts said that the condition can increase the risk of heart attack for the person.