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Happiness can also break your heart

Gorkha Post

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Sadness can weigh on you beyond all doubt, and sometimes a particularly sad or stressful event can trigger what’s known as ‘broken heart syndrome.’

However, it’s not only the awful times that can precipitate this syndrome; joyful and happy occasions can also trigger broken heart syndrome, according to a study published Thursday in European Heart Journal.

Joyful events, such as, the birth of a child, a big win by your team, can trigger a dangerous condition called the “broken heart syndrome”, the study said.

Under this condition, also known as Takotsubo syndrome or stress cardiomyopathy,  the heart muscles rapidly and severely weaken. This temporary ailment causes severe chest pain and can lead to life-altering consequences such as heart attack and even death.

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The researchers analyzed data from the International Takotsubo Registry at the University Hospital Zurich in Switzerland and looked at 485 patients from nine countries who had a specific emotional trigger for the syndrome.

By far most – 465, or 96 percent – had broken heart syndrome triggered by sad and stressful events. That included the death of a loved one, an accident, attending a funeral, worries about illness and relationship problems.

But an additional 20 people in the study (4 percent of the group) had the syndrome triggered by joyful occasions, such as a birthday party, wedding, the birth of a grandchild and even a favorite sports team winning. The researchers dubbed them ‘happy heart’ cases.

The researchers of this new study say their findings ‘broaden the clinical spectrum’ of the syndrome, and that clinicians should be aware of this when treating patients with symptoms.

Broken heart syndrome most commonly affects women around 60, and that’s what played out in this recent study; women comprised 95 percent of the cases analyzed.

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Drinking 3 cups of coffee or tea daily may keep stroke risk at bay

Raghu Kshitiz

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KATHMANDU — There have been several conflicting studies on the health benefits of drinking coffee and tea and their various varieties. But drinking up to three cups of coffee or tea in a day is safe because it reduces irregular heartbeat and stroke risk, according to a new study published in the journal JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology.

Coffee has previously been believed to worsen abnormal heart rhythms, as doctors generally discourage patients suffering from the condition. However, the results of this particular study say that a daily consumption of upto 300 mg of caffeine may be safe for arrhythmic patients.

This is because the caffeine acts as a stimulant to the central nervous system and blocks the effect of adenosine. Adenosine is a chemical which causes Atrial Fibrillation (AFib).

A single cup of coffee contains about 95 mg of caffeine. It acts as a stimulant to the central nervous system and works to block the effects of adenosine — a chemical that causes AFib.

AFib is the most common heart rhythm disorder, causes the heart to beat rapidly and skip beats, and if left untreated, can cause strokes.

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“There is a public perception, often based on anecdotal experience, that caffeine is a common acute trigger for heart rhythm problems,” said lead author Peter Kistler, Director at Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital.

But, “caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea have long-term anti-arrhythmic properties mediated by antioxidant effects and antagonism of adenosine,” he added.

A meta-analysis of 228,465 participants showed that AFib frequency decreasing by 6 per cent in regular coffee drinkers, and an analysis of 115,993 patients showed a 13 per cent reduced risk.

Another study of 103 post-heart attack patients who received an average of 353 mg of caffeine a day showed improvement in heart rate and no significant arrhythmias — or abnormal heart rhythms, that cause the heart to beat too fast, slow or unevenly.

However, in two studies, where patients drank at least 10 cups and nine cups of coffee per day, showed an increased risk for ventricular arrhythmias (VAs) – a condition in which the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles) beat very quickly.

On the other hand, patients with pre-existing heart conditions who consumed two or more energy drinks — that contains concentrated caffeine — per day reported palpitations within 24 hours.

With Agency Inputs

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