Cardiovascular means anything of, relating to, or involving the heart and the blood vessels (arteries and veins) A healthy heart and circulatory system is vital to life. Ask questions here about how to keep the cardiovascular system pumping.
Asked by Jameson Hauck in Heart, Cardiovascular Health, Death and Dying
Has a person ever been scared to death?
Yes. Notably (and unfortunately), this happened in 2008, when a fleeing bank robber broke into a 79-year-old woman’s house to hide from police. The woman died of a heart attack, and the robber was given a life sentence for causing her death. While every cardiac event is different, here’s some information about what fear does to your heart: When you feel you’re in danger, your brain orders a surge of adrenaline to course through your body—this triggers your fight-or-flight response, which, among other things, raises your heart rate. The intent is to pump blood to your muscles and other vital organs, preparing you for battle or escape, but in extreme circumstances and risk-prone hearts, this can cause a heart attack. That’s horrifying, but death by fear is rare. Here’s Vincent Bufalino, MD, in his interview with the American Heart Association: “You can have a sudden cardiac-related event related to an adrenaline surge, but I think it would be a stretch to say you could get that from someone coming in a werewolf costume to your front door. [Something that will give you a heart attack] is the kind of thing that you can't prepare for. If it happens, it happens, and you hope your body doesn't overreact to that event.” So, yes, someone has been scared to death, but this isn’t something you need to worry about.