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Can a Person Really Be Scared to Death?

Scared To Death
Gaiet, flickr

With Halloween almost here, people are decorating their houses, going to haunted houses planning their parties and of course, getting ready for those trick-or-treaters. But for some, Halloween can be quite scary.   This got me thinking about the saying, “scared to death.” Do you think a person could really be “scared to death?” The answer to that question is yes! According to ABC News.com, they reported that some medical experts have found that intense fear can actually stun the heart enough to kill a healthy person.

WOW. The phenomenon is often referred to as “broken heart syndrome,” which literally makes the heart stop moving after events like receiving terrible news … or a really good scare.

Those same experts found that this happens more in women their men. In fact, according to Dr. Martin Samuels, chairman of the neurology department at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, says “they account for about 90 percent of reported cases.”

This isn’t as rare as it might seem. At least one death a day is attributed to sudden death.  It also is interesting to note that those numbers slightly increase about a week after a tragic event like an earthquake or terrorist attack.

So, what happens to make the heart stop? According to Dr. Samuels, it’s most likely caused by the uncontrolled sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body’s “fight or flight” function. A rush of stress hormones in the case of stress cardiomyopathy can damage the heart.

Think twice before saying BOO this Halloween! Hey better yet, just make it all about the kids and candy.

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