How women's hearts can be broken by mental stress such as bereavement

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UPDATED:

00:32 GMT, 25 April 2012


Heartbroken: The hearts of women are less able to handle mental stress than men's. (Picture posed by model)

Heartbroken: The hearts of women are less able to handle mental stress than men's. (Picture posed by model)

Mental stress can literally be heart-breaking for women – leading them to be more likely than men to suffer coronary problems, a study claims.

The findings could help explain why women are more likely than men to be hit by coronary symptoms after emotional upsets such as losing a spouse.

The U.S. study examined the effects of mental stress on blood flow through the heart.

It found this actually increases in men during mental stress, but there was no such change in women.

, at the San Diego Convention Centre.