Can sudden stress cause heart attack and death?

Sudden Stress can cause heart attack.

Yes. Sudden stress can cause heart attack and death. It is known as “broken heart syndrome” or “Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy”.

The name “broken heart syndrome” is because the person after receiving a psychological shock can have a heart attack even without any block in his arteries.

The name “Takotsubo” is because in this condition the heart looks like the Japanese pot which their fishermen used to catch the octopus.

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Sudden stress releases stress hormones. Sudden increase in levels of stress hormones leads to dysfunction of heart muscles. Heart muscles become dysfunctional. As heart muscle gets damaged. At this point of time those molecules that are found inside the heart muscle also found in the blood. These are Troponin T, Troponin I etc. The pumping power of the heart reduces. The heart fails to pump the blood into the body and lung gets filled by the water. That is when patient feels shortness of breath.

Most cases occur in elderly women in their post menopause. These group of patients has higher neuro-psychiatric illnesses than general heart attack group of patients.

What happens in heart attack due to sudden stress?

  1. Sudden physical or mental stress i.e., psychological trauma, drug abuse, extreme physical exhaustion etc.
  2. Sudden stress releases acute stress hormone known as catecholamines into our blood.
  3. These stress hormones in physiological range increases heart rate and pumping of heart.
  4. With excessive amount it damages the heart muscles.
  5. The heart muscles become dysfunctional. Some of the heart muscles also die due to this.
  6. It causes heart attack without any block in heart arteries.
  7. It causes heart failure in 20% of the cases. The heart fails to pump properly. Lungs get filled with water and the patient feels shortness of breath.

What are the symptoms?

  • Most common symptom is chest pain. Around, 65% present with chest pain.
  • Around 17% present with shortness of breath.
  • Symptoms and initial diagnosis remain exactly as heart attack.

Can death happen due to stress heart attack?

Yes. If the patient gets hospitalizes the death rate is pretty much around 8%.

Can it happen repeatedly?

Yes. Of course. Chances are that you can have this stress heart attack 15% of the time.

What is the treatment & outcome?

Treatment is primarily supportive – mostly with medicines. Few patients with heart failure may require ventilator support. Heart function restores over a period of few days to 3-4 weeks. With long term follow up they have a death rate of 5.6% per year.

12 ways to reduce Anxiety and Stress for your heart & overall health –

Life is too short for living under the influence of stress and anxiety. No matter how gloomy the day it is, you should concentrate on your health. Nowadays, work, family, and other commitments occupy us so much that we delve ourselves into stress. Following are 12 ways in which you can reduce your anxiety and stress levels for enhancing the quality of your health:

1. Exercise

Exercise is one of the most important things to do. 30 minutes of regular exercise will relax your body and muscles. You can also swim, jog, or walk instead of intense physical exercise.

3. Breathing Deeply

Deep breaths relieve you of pressure and stress to a greater extent. So, sit down in a cross-legged position and breathe deeply for 05 to 10 minutes every day.

2. Relax the Body Muscles

It is important for refreshing the parts of your body. A good night’s sleep stretches or good exercise can help in relaxing the body muscles. It is different from daily exercise.

4.  Eating a Balanced Diet

Eating too much or too little has great effects on your body. So, maintain a balanced diet that also brightens up your mood.

5. It is Okay – Things Go Wrong

Sometimes, things go wrong no matter how much you work hard for achieving that particular goal. So, be easy on yourself. You are not going to achieve anything by being hard on yourself.

6. Take Out Time For Favorite Hobbies

It is the worst habit to get involved in work only. Work brings stress most of the time – meeting deadlines, working day and night, and future objectives. So, try to take out time for your favorite hobbies.

7. Do Not Be Hasty

There is no need to be haste. Slow down and have mercy on your body. You will still achieve your objectives if you work one hour less.

8. Share Your Problems with Others

Why are you bearing all the pressure on your shoulders? Try to open up about your problems with others around you. They can renew your perspective and rejuvenate your hopes for a better life.

9. Fight the Triggers

Everybody has trigger points. Try to fight trigger points and eliminate your fears associated with these points. Thus, you will be able to live a peaceful life.

10. It Is Fine to Lose.

Society instils the idea in our minds that we should keep achieving higher and higher objectives in life. But it is fine if you lose your job, status, or fortune. You can regain it.

11. Taking a Break from Everything

You should take a break from work, and go on holiday after some time. It refreshes your zeal and zest for living life.

12. You Are Going Good.

Always, tell yourself that you are going well. There is no need to rush. You will get your destiny.



People can die sudden physical and mental stress due to heart attack and heart failure.

Along with physical health, mental health is also important. So, care for your mind while you work to live a good life. Because your mind directly controls many hormones in the body. Those hormones can break your heart and will cause diseases in the long term. So calm down your mind.

Practice S.N.A. (stillness of non-judgmental awareness

Sit in a quiet place. Be relaxed. Breath regularly. Observe your breath. Observe your thoughts and practice not getting carries away by the same. Do not judge your thoughts. Observe your breath rising up and falling down. Observe your thoughts coming up and going away. That’s all is required 10 minutes twice a day and as and when you feel like it. Learn to be alone in stillness when you are not getting carried away by your thoughts.

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