Great news: Too much happiness can kill you

Great news: Too much happiness can kill you

CultureAugust 10, 2017 By Tyler Mistretta

Everyone has heard stories of a perfectly healthy 90-year-old dying the day after her husband of 65 years passes away — the shock of her husband's death apparently too much for her body to handle.

People then go on to wax poetically, saying she “died of a broken heart” — and even though that sounds absolutely ridiculous, it’s a real diagnosable medical condition. Scientists have known since the 1990s that there is a legitimate broken heart syndrome, known officially as Stress-Induced Cardiomyopathy, where the stress of bad news causes the heart to swell up like a gross fleshy balloon.

To fuck with our lives even more, however, scientists have discovered the exact same thing can happen in the response to good news, which is bad news for old people. In a study published in the European Heart Journal, researchers found some people have “happy hearts” and respond to overwhelmingly good news much the way those with broken hearts respond to bad news.

With a happy heart, overwhelmingly positive events — like the birth of a grandchild or winning a $15 Red Lobster gift card at bingo — can cause the heart to inflate and stop functioning properly. Like broken hearts, the response of happy hearts can be just as fatal.

So it’s probably best to keep grandma out of the delivery room and at least 100 ft away from the bingo hall if you want to ensure she lives to see another day. Actually, if you want to make sure grandma lives, best to eliminate any and all excitement from her life. The elderly seem to take it to heart.