Can you die of a broken heart? Takotsubo cardiomyopathy after Sinead O'Connor's cause of death confirmed

Irish singer Sinead O'Connor. (Picture: SASCHA SCHUERMANN/DDP/AFP via Getty Images)Irish singer Sinead O'Connor. (Picture: SASCHA SCHUERMANN/DDP/AFP via Getty Images)
Irish singer Sinead O'Connor. (Picture: SASCHA SCHUERMANN/DDP/AFP via Getty Images) | DDP/AFP via Getty Images
A former partner of singer Sinead O'Connor suggested that the music star died of a broken heart.

Having a broken heart can be as deadly as suffering a heart attack, new research suggests.

A new study, conducted by the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, found that a quarter of patients died of a broken heart over the course of five years. The medical name for this is takotsubo cardiomyopathy, caused by extreme emotional distress that weakens a chamber in the heart.

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The research also found that medication taken to prevent cardiac arrests had no impact on survival rates for a broken heart.

In the study, published in JACC Journals, researchers said: "Cardiovascular and pulmonary causes account for a major proportion of deaths after takotsubo syndrome, with cardiovascular medications showing only weak and inconsistent associations with survival.

"The cardiovascular mortality in patients with takotsubo syndrome was mostly due to heart failure causes. Indeed, we have previously demonstrated that after the 'recovery' from the acute episode, a proportion of patients evolve toward a heart failure with preserved ejection fraction phenotype in the longer term."

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy affects rougly 2,500 Brits every year, with 3,720 patients being analysed in this study. Over a follow-up of just over five years, 153 patients with takotsubo syndrome died.

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The news comes after Dermot Hayes, an ex-partner of Irish singer Sinead O'Connor, suggested that the music star died of a broken heart. O'Connor's son, Shane, took his own life 18 months before she died.

On Tuesday (January 9) officials confirmed that the singer had died of natural causes.

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