Broken hearts are real, but they aren't necessarily caused by a broken relationship.
The Wall Street Journal reports on a new study that suggests that many women do suffer from ‘broken-heart syndrome’ - rapid beating and pain in the heart - which is often mistaken for a heart attack.
"It most often affects women in their 60s or older, can be brought on by strong emotions, such as grief, anger and anxiety, or by physical stress," the report says.
"A common trigger is a loved one’s illness or death, while for some patients there is no clear-cut cause for an attack."
The report, published in November in the American Journal of Cardiology, is by Harmony Reynolds, a cardiologist at NYU Langone Medical Center, who studied 20 women to a host of tests designed to bring on physical and mental stress.
She says broken-heart syndrome "mimics a heart attack but generally doesn’t appear to be due to coronary artery disease".
Dr Reynolds says the cause may be an "impaired parasympathetic nervous system, the part of the nervous system responsible for helping the body calm down".