People wonder about George H.W. Bush's hospitalization: is it a 'broken heart?

Rodolfo Vieira
Apr 26, 2018
12:17 P.M.
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The passing of the 41st President of the United States' wife, Barbara Bush, might have contributed to his hospitalization.


George H. W. Bush was rushed to the hospital just one day after Barbara's funeral service, which took place in Houston, Texas, on April 21, 2018, and broken-heart syndrome has been pointed as a possible cause.

Barbara and George were married for 73 years, and their relationship never wavered. They were each other's rock, and the loss might have taken a toll on the former leader's health, as reported by the New York Times.

The notion of medical problems related to broken hearts has been reported on a few occasions, but it still divides the scientific community when it comes to its veracity.


Donald Berry, a statistician who works at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, claimed that the idea is appealing to those who follow the romanticist path.

“The phenomenon is due largely to selective memory. We all know examples where husband and wife die within a week of each other. They stick in our minds — we remember them.”

Donald Berry, New York Times, April 24, 2018

George already had an infection that spread dangerously throughout his frail body, which could have led to the hospitalization. But the broken-heart syndrome hasn't been discarded yet.


Dr. Anne Curtis, the chairwoman of medicine at the University at Buffalo, argued that the loss of a loved one initiated 'an outpouring from the sympathetic nervous system,' also known as the 'fight-or-flight' response.


The heart goes under immense stress when the phenom takes place; its beating rate sharply increases, taking blood pressure to extreme levels, which can cause people to have strokes or heart attacks.

When it comes to broken-heart syndrome victims, the former President might not be alone. In 2003, Johnny Cash, the outlaw country pioneer, reportedly died of grief at the hospital after his wife, June, passed away due to heart surgery complications.

Debbie Reynolds, the famous actress, also died just one day after her beloved daughter, Carrie Fisher, the famous Princess Leia from Star Wars, lost her life in 2016.