The study suggested that broken heart syndrome occurs during highly stressful or emotional times, including divorce, the death of a spouse, a serious medical diagnosis or significant financial problems.

The syndrome also is known as stress-induced cardiomyopathy. The underlying cause is not known but is thought to be secondary to the release of adrenalin that have a deleterious effect on the heart.

Symptoms of broken heart  include chest pain and difficulty breathing, and can easily be mistaken for a heart attack. The syndrome typically occurs in patients older than 50 and is more common in women, although it also can occur in younger men and women.

Cardiologists said that like a heart attack, broken heart syndrome can be very alarming to patients but unlike a heart attack, broken heart syndrome usually is reversible, with no long-lasting effects on the heart muscle.

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