We all know that love hurts, but science has finally discovered that 'Broken Heart Syndrome' is real, and it could be way more serious than we first thought.

Because, having your heart broken can be as damaging as a heart attack, according to research from the University of Aberdeen.

Broken Heart Syndrome affects at least 3,000 people in the UK per year - though the figure is likely to be a lot higher - and can leave the heart permanently damaged.

This means that getting dumped outside that retail park McDonald's may have already left you with permanent heart problems.

Credit: PA

A study funded by the British Heart Foundation revealed that putting the heart under extreme stress, such as the death of a loved one, causes the heart muscle to become stunned and the left ventricle to swell up dangerously.

It can also be triggered by betrayal, the death of a dog (I'll never forget you, Rex), or even extreme happiness.

The syndrome is also known as takotsubo - Japanese for octopus trap - because of the shape the heart takes when affected.

Dr. Dana Dawson, lead researcher from the University of Aberdeen said: "It is becoming increasingly recognized that takotsubo is more common than we originally thought.

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"This is the longest follow-up study looking at the long-term effects of takotsubo, and it clearly shows permanent ill-effects on the hearts of those who suffer from it.

"These patients are unable to perform physical exercise as well and fatigue more easily.

"Our research shows that takotsubo needs to be treated with the same urgency as any other heart problem and that patients may need ongoing treatment for these long-term effects."

Research done at Harvard Medical School has also discovered that the most likely people to suffer a broken heart are women aged between 58 and 75.

The doctors followed 37 patients for two years and discovered that the effects continued long after they'd previously thought.

They now suggest that the same treatments are offered to sufferers as those who have had a heart attack.

Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: "Takotsubo is a devastating disease that can suddenly strike down otherwise healthy people.

Credit: PA

"We once thought the effects of this life-threatening disease were temporary, but now we can see they can continue to affect people for the rest of their lives.

"There is no long-term treatment for people with takotsubo because we mistakenly thought patients would make a full recovery.

"This new research shows there are long-term effects on heart health, and suggests we should be treating patients in a similar way to those who are at risk of heart failure."

Source: The University of Aberdeen

Featured Image Credit: PA

Claire Reid

Claire Reid is a journalist at LADbible. Claire graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a BA in journalism. She’s previously worked at Trinity Mirror. Since joining LADbible, Claire has worked on pieces for the UOKM8? mental health campaign, the Yemen crisis, life in the Calais Jungle as well as a profile of a man who is turning himself into a cyborg.

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