You Can Die of a Broken Heart Large study finds truth to the age-old theory By Matt Cantor, Newser User Posted Jan 10, 2012 3:27 PM CST 7 comments Comments You can die of a broken heart, a study suggests. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – The poets are right: It's possible to die of a broken heart, a study finds. The risk of a heart attack is 21 times higher the day after the loss of a loved one, say researchers who interviewed 2,000 subjects over 5 years. During the week after the death, the risk is 6 times greater than usual, and it stays higher than normal throughout the month. So "if a bereaved person is having symptoms like chest pain, they shouldn’t simply say, ‘Oh, I’m dealing with the stress right now’ and ignore it," a researcher tells the New York Times.