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Diseases & Ailments

Seinfeld Syncope - Term referring to medical condition effecting a fan of the popular sitcom SEINFELD/NBC/1990-98. Richard Digangi, a 64-year-old retiree from Burlington, Massachusetts laughed so hard when watching SEINFELD reruns that he experienced fainting spells and passed out face down into his food while eating dinner. Doctor's at the Burlington Lahey Clinic later discovered why Digangi fainted.

The condition is caused by narrowing of the arteries compounded by the fact that when a person laughs, their blood pressure drops. In February 1997 cardiologists Eisenhauer opened one of Digangi's arteries and ended the "Seinfeld Syncope" phenomenon.

A summary of the case is found in a medical letter in Catheterization & Cardiovascular Diagnosis October 1997, 42(2) p.242 (Cox SV; Eisenhauer AC; Hreib K).

The Cast of SEINFELD
The Cast of SEINFELD

In addition, a medical miracle occurred when an injured high school student awoke from his coma upon hearing a TV broadcast of the SEINFELD program.

After Dan Cassill from Tallahassee, Florida crashed his Mustang convertible into a tree on December 1996, he fell into a deep coma. Seven week later, when his mother turned on the TV set near Cassill's bedside Dan immediately awoke.

The program on the tube ironically was an episode of SEINFELD (Dan's favorite show) that featured Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards) renting a video about a comatose woman. (People Weekly Spring 1998 Extra p.93) See also "Mary Hart Syndrome"


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