New Study Proves that You Can Die from a Broken Heart
A recent research, published in Psychoneuroendocrinology, finds that in the three-month period after a spouse’s death widows and widowers are at higher risk of death associated with cardiovascular disease.
The study found that people who have lost a spouse within the last three months have higher levels of proinflammatory cytokines (immune markers indicating inflammation in the bloodstream) and lower heart rate variability (HRV) than those non-bereaved individuals of the same sex, age, body mass index, and education level.
Lead author Chris Fagundes, an assistant professor of psychology in Rice University's School of Social Sciences, USA, says: “In the first six months after the loss of a spouse, widows/widowers are at a 41% increased risk of mortality. Importantly, 53% of this increased risk is due to cardiovascular disease. This study is an important step toward understanding why this is the case by identifying how bereavement gets under the skin to promote morbidity and mortality.”
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