Broken heart syndrome, also known as stress cardiomyopathy, bears strong resemblance to a heart
attack. Symptoms include chest
pain, irregular heartbeat, and shortness of breath.
Yet whereas a heart attack is the culmination of many years of dietary wear and tear on the arteries, broken heart syndrome is caused by a flood of emotion. An extreme life stressor – the unexpected death of a loved one, a car accident, a traumatic break-up — releases a surge of adrenaline and other stress hormones.