Can Something Actually Scare You To Death?

Feb 24, 2015
The idea of being "scared to death" has actually been studied for years. When scared, the body responds by producing the hormone adrenaline. In fact, researchers at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, found that people experiencing fear-produced heart failure have adrenaline levels well above those of a "normal" person and even two to three times the levels of a person having a heart attack.

The overproduction of adrenaline can cause damage to internal organs, with the heart being the most susceptible. Too much of the hormone causes the heart's rhythm to become irregular and can even skip a beat or stop. Most people assume this means a heart attack. In reality, the researchers say it is called stress cardiomyopathy. Unlike someone experiencing a heart attack, stress-induced heart failure is not related to heart disease, blood clots, or injured portions of the muscle.
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