When you think of a broken heart, you probably picture something out of a romantic movie or a cartoon heart, cracked like a fragile piece of china. Indeed, so-called “broken heart syndrome” has a certified place in popular culture, and has been eloquently used in films such as The Notebook. But while we certainly feel “heartbreak” during periods of emotional upheaval, can you actually die of a broken heart?
Dying of a broken heart is more than a myth. Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (also known as broken heart syndrome) is a condition first recognised by Japanese researchers more than 20 years ago, and it has gained a great deal of attention in Western countries in the past ten years.