Doctor: You really can die of a broken heart - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Doctor: You really can die of a broken heart

AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File). FILE- In this Sept. 10, 2011, file photo, Debbie Reynolds, left, and Carrie Fisher arrive at the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Reynolds, star of the 1952 classic "Singin' in the Rain" died Wednesday. AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File). FILE- In this Sept. 10, 2011, file photo, Debbie Reynolds, left, and Carrie Fisher arrive at the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Reynolds, star of the 1952 classic "Singin' in the Rain" died Wednesday.
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -

The death of actress and singer Debbie Reynolds, only one day after the death of daughter Carrie Fisher, prompted speculation from fans that she had died of a broken heart.

While the specifics of the 84-year-old's health are not known, doctors say severe stress and emotion trauma can lead to death.

Broken heart syndrome, also called stress-induced cardiomyopathy, can strike even if you're healthy, according to the American Heart Association.

"Women are more likely than men to experience the sudden, intense chest pain — the reaction to a surge of stress hormones — that can be caused by an emotionally stressful event," according to the Heart Association Website.  "It could be the death of a loved one or even a divorce, breakup or physical separation, betrayal or romantic rejection."

Doctors say in broken heart syndrome, a part of your heart temporarily enlarges and fails pump well.

Broken heart syndrome can lead to severe, short-term heart muscle failure.

Younger, healthy people are more likely to be treated successfully, but in rare cases the results can be fatal.

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