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Happiness can break your heart

Researchers have known for years that negative emotions like grief and fear can “break” a person’s heart, making their left ventricle freeze up and stop working. But takotsubo syndrome, so-called because it makes the left ventricle resemble a Japanese octopus trap, can also be triggered by happiness, Stat reports. Researchers examined a registry of 1750 takotsubo patients from around the world, 485 of whom were struck by the illness during an emotional event. Of these, 20 traced their heart trouble to happy occasions such as becoming a grandparent or celebrating a birthday, the researchers reported yesterday in the European Heart Journal. The findings suggest that both happy and sad life events can stress the body in similar ways, say the researchers.

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