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30th Dec 2016

Does being heartbroken actually affect your physical health?

Heartbreak is not just an emotional pain.

Megan Roantree

It’s called heartbreak for a reason.

Breaking-up with or losing a loved one can be incredibly difficult. It can feel like physical pain and take a very long time to heal, if it heals at all.

But a number of studies have shown that a broken-heart actually be damaging to your physical heart health, according to Time.

A new study finds that people who lose a loved one, are at a significantly higher risk of atrial fibrillation, which can also be known as an irregular heartbeat, which can cause damage in the long run.

Stress cardiomyopathy is a health problem which can be caused by the death of a loved one, it can lead a person to feel as though they are having a heart attack because they suffer from shortness of breath and chest pain, however, it does not cause blocked arteries which are associated with an actual heart attack, which is what sets them apart, this is also known as broken heart syndrome.

In the new study, published in the journal Open Heart the team looked at 88,600 people who were diagnosed with atrial fibrillation in Denmark. They discovered that people who had suffered from grief in the past month were 41% more likely to develop these heart problems. The risk among grieving people remained high throughout the year after their loss. They also noted that the risk was especially high for younger people as well as people whose partner died suddenly or unexpectedly.

The condition isn’t just brought on by grief, but by other situations which many cause nervousness or anxiety.

While the condition isn’t directly linked to heartbreak alone, it is interesting to see that those who have suffered mentally from heartbreak often also suffer physically. Showing that grief is more than just an emotion.

So there is truth behind the ‘he died from a broken heart’ idea.