Women are a lot more likely to suffer a broken heart than men, researchers say.
The good news is that it probably won't kill you.
In the first national study of its kind, researchers at the University of
Arkansas looked at rates of "broken heart syndrome"—when a sudden shock or
prolongedstress causes heart attack-like symptoms or heart failure —and found
that it overwhelminglyaffects women.
syndrome n. 1. 并发症状，综合症，同时存在的事物 2. 典型意见，典型表现
overwhelmingly ad. 压倒性地；不可抵抗地；（感情）极其强烈地
Women are at least seven times more likely than men to suffer the syndrome,
and older women are at greater risk than younger ones, according to data
presented Wednesday at the American Heart Association conference in Orlando.
"It's the only cardiaccondition where there's such a female preponderance,"
Dr. Abhiram Prasad, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist who was not associated with the
study, told the AP. Heart attack and heart disease, of course, strike men more
often and earlier in life than women.
cardiac a. 1. 心脏的；心脏病的 n. 强心剂；心脏病患者
preponderance n. 重量的优势；优势；优越
Broken heart syndrome can happen in response to shocking or suddenly
emotional events —both positive ones like winning the lottery, or negative ones
like a car accident or the unexpected death of a loved one. A flood of stress
hormonesand adrenalinecauses part of the heart to enlarge temporarily and
triggerssymptoms that can look like heart attack: chest pain, shortness of
breath, irregular heart rhythm. The difference is that the factors that would
normally cause heart attack, such as a blocked artery, aren't present.
Most sufferers usually recover within a week or two, but in rare cases
—about 1% —people die of the condition.
Doctors have long known about broken heart syndrome —first described by
Japanese researchers two decades ago —and that it seemed to occur mostly in
women. So, Dr. Abhishek Deshmukh, a cardiologistat the University of Arkansas
who has treated women with broken heart syndrome, became curious about just how
gender-specific the condition was.
Using a federal database that included data from roughly 1,000 hospitals,
Deshmukh found 6,229 cases of broken heart syndrome in 2007. Of those, only 671
—just under 11% —were in men. He found that, overall, women had about 7.5 times
the risk of broken heart syndrome as men; in people under 55, women were at 9.5
times greater risk than men. Women over 55 were also three times more likely to
suffer broken heart syndrome than younger women.
Researchers don't know what causes the gender disparity, but they have some
ideas. Reported the AP:
One theory is that hormones play a role. Another is that men have more
adrenaline receptors on cells in their hearts than women do, "so maybe men are
able to handle stress better" and the chemical surgeit releases, Deshmukh
surge n. 大浪；汹涌澎湃；巨涌 vi. 激增；汹涌 vt. 使颠簸
About 10% of sufferers will have a second episode at some point, but most
return to full heart function without permanent damage or need for follow-up
treatment. So, it looks like the way to mend a broken heart is what Mom always
said: just give it time.