Scientists have identified why people sometimes die from a broken heart after grief or relationship breakdowns.
They found stressful life events increase levels of two molecules in heart cells which play a crucial role in the development of takotsubo cardiomyopathy – or ‘broken heart syndrome’.
The breakthrough, by Imperial College London, paves the way for new treatment options that could prevent future deaths.
Is a marriage apocalypse coming? Looking at current trends, it’s already here. Modernity, as destructive and unexpected as an asteroid, has ravaged societal norms. The hegemony of formal marriage over relationships is ending. Yet, like the dinosaurs evolving into birds, formal marriage persists, just transformed and more marginal. In its formal place, a zoo of new relationships is appearing. There’s casual cohabitation for couples testing the waters. There are registered unions for those unwilling to sign the big contract. And there’s a fieldguide of lesser-known arrangements, from living apart together (when longterm partners keep separate addresses) to kitchen-table polyamory (when a tangle of nonmonogamous partners are intimate enough to have breakfast together).
Marriage is weakening. It’s diversifying. But it won’t disappear any time soon.