Can you actually suffer from a broken heart? Researchers at the University of Washington say yes.
According to UW Medicine cardiologist Dr. Zachary Goldberger, broken heart syndrome is real. In fact, he sees around a patient a week who may have this syndrome.
Symptoms of broken heart syndrome are similar to those of a heart attack and can result from emotional or physical stress due to the loss of a loved one or other traumatic event.
"Typically we see it in middle-aged women, 60s-70s, who have had some sort of emotional or physical stress, loss of a loved one, hardship economically," said Dr. Goldberger. "What they're presented with is chest pain, loss of breath....Only after the heart attack has been ruled out are we starting to entertain this diagnosis of this broken heart syndrome, which is more medically called stress cardiomyopathy."
Goldberger said the syndrome is typically short-lived, but it can persist.
"The older you are, the more heart failure you have, the more serious the outcome can be," said Goldberger.
Middle-aged women are more impacted by broken heart syndrome than men.