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    Suse's Avatar
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    can a fright cause a heart attack

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    ok a weird question but you know when someone gives you a fright, and you say, aaaghh you nearly gave me a heart attack. I was just listening to the news tonight about a plane crash and one person died (sadly) due to a heart attack after the crash. It just got me thinking.... how does a fright/scare/whatever you want to call it, cause a heart attack.

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    I would guess that if a fright caused a heart attack that it would be because the person had an underlying cardiac condition and was a "ticking time bomb" anyway. Would be the same principal with exercise, we have all heard about the healthy teenager who goes to football practice and drops dead and it turns out to be a congenital problem that nobody knows about that was exacerbated by exercise.

    While being “scared to death” may happen, I would think that it is very rare and that the same increase in heart rate, adrenalin, etc could be caused by any number of other things (laughing, crying, exercise) with the same end result.
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    Quote Originally Posted by texas.grok View Post
    Would be the same principal with exercise, we have all heard about the healthy teenager who goes to football practice and drops dead and it turns out to be a congenital problem that nobody knows about that was exacerbated by exercise.
    That tends to be undiagnosed Marfan's syndrome.
    " Sometimes, no heart problems are apparent until the weakening of the connective tissue (cystic medial degeneration) in the ascending aorta causes an aortic aneurysm or aortic dissection, a surgical emergency. An aortic dissection is most often fatal and presents with pain radiating down the back, giving a tearing sensation."
    Last edited by cillakat; 08-16-2010 at 11:40 PM.



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    Cilla,

    We once had a guy who walked into our lobby, in some kind of crisis. I got up to talk with him (and try to calm him down); he just collapsed. My partner called paramedics, I started CPR...paramedics arrived 2 minutes later. They were unable to revive him; turns out he had dissected
    They told me, that even if he had been in the OR when that happened, he still wouldn't have survived. Oh, btw---he was a long-term crack user.

    Oh, what a nightmare.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cillakat View Post
    That tends to be undiagnosed Marfan's syndrome.
    " Sometimes, no heart problems are apparent until the weakening of the connective tissue (cystic medial degeneration) in the ascending aorta causes an aortic aneurysm or aortic dissection, a surgical emergency. An aortic dissection is most often fatal and presents with pain radiating down the back, giving a tearing sensation."
    Yep. Aortic dissection is, as I recall, what killed John Ritter. Nobody knew he was primed for it until it happened on the set of his show. Very sad.
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    Rabbits and other animals can die of fright, so I'm sure it's possible for humans too.
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    Check the posts from Texas.Grok/Cillikat and from Kuno1Chi

    Kids that have been poisoned with things like Ridelin most of their lives suffer the same attacks. They have noticeable scars on their hearts similar to those caused by cocaine use.

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    There is also spontaneous cardiac arrest, which is basically your heart just stops for no apparent reason. Some people just die, and there is no apparent underlying cause.

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    I was going to say what john_e_turner_ii said. You could be scared which prompts an increased heart rate that could trigger a fatal arrythmia. Which reminds me of this news story from June.

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    oh dear, Mica that story is tragic

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