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Doctors say a broken heart is a real medical condition

Posted at 12:54 PM, Feb 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-15 11:31:40-05

Love might be in the air today, but it's also a difficult day for a lot of people and can lead to a serious health problem called broken heart syndrome.

"The most common form of presentation is chest pain. It's very difficult to distinguish it from a heart attack," Dr. Gaston Vergara told 13 Action News.  

Broken heart syndrome typically lasts a few weeks, but some believe it may have been a factor in a number of deaths.

Johnny Cash died less than four months after his wife, June. NFL great Doug Flutie's parents passed away within an hour of each other. And just last year, Debbie Reynolds died just one day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher. 

Doctors say they typically see broken heart syndrome in middle-aged women, but it can happen to anyone. That all being said, it is those relationships that can also help build happier lives.

RELATED: What is broken heart syndrome?

According to a 2017 Harvard study, close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives.