You really CAN die of a broken heart: Losing a loved one doubles the risk of … – Daily Mail

Daily Mail
You really CAN die of a broken heart: Losing a loved one doubles the risk of …


Dr-Dori Naerbo‘s insight:

Research shows that you can die of a broken heart. Losing a loved one really can break your heart. Research shows that the risk of coronary failure or stroke doubles in the first month of bereavement.  Experts believe the findings show how important the ‘broken heart syndrome’ can be.

The researchers found that 0.16 per cent of patients experienced heart attacks or strokes within 30 days of their partner’s death – compared with 0.08 per cent of the normal population. Over the same period the risk of blood clots on the lungs was almost two and a half times greater.


Over the first three months, the risk of heart trouble or stroke was approximately a third higher, says a report in the journal, JAMA Internal Medicine. The researchers found a 25 per cent higher risk of death in the first year after bereavement among older couples, with a peak in the first three months.   Another study found the risk of early death increased for the surviving partner, and was much higher for widowers. But after the danger period of the first year, the bereaved can take comfort that the extra risk of dying declines.


To help cope with your feelings you may need extra support from friends and family, especially in the first month following bereavement when stress levels are particularly high. Scientists have said that divorce, operations and even winning the lottery are as likely as bereavement to trigger heart attacks.


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