Land of 10,000 broken hearts?

[Pioneer Press, February 14, 2011] There are a lot of broken hearts in Minnesota. And doctors say the intriguing health problem usually doesn't stem from a failed romance.

"It can be from grief — from the death of a loved one. Or it can be from a tornado, a barn burning down or public speaking," said Dr. Scott Sharkey, a cardiologist at the Minneapolis Heart Institute. "We've had two patients who have fallen outside farm houses in winter, broken their hips and thought they would freeze to death."

Sharkey is describing a rare condition called "broken heart syndrome," in which emotional or physical stress hits the heart as if patients were acutely suffering from clogged heart arteries. Doctors rush these apparent heart attack patients for emergency procedures only to find the arteries aren't blocked. Read the whole story at

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