Heart Beat – October, 2022


Grieving a Loved One’s Death May Be Fatal for Some

In patients with heart failure, grieving the death of a family member increases the risk of their own death, researchers have found. The study, published online July 6 in JACC: Heart Failure, adds to the growing body of evidence that severe psychological stress worsens the course of heart failure, even though the underlying reasons are not always clear. To conduct this study, the researchers examined the records of nearly 500,000 individuals enrolled in two Swedish databases. Mortality risk for patients with heart failure rose 20% following the death of a spouse or partner, 13% after the death of a sibling and 5% after the death of a grandchild. (No increased risk was seen following the death of a parent, likely because most study participants were elderly.) The risk of dying from heart failure was higher in the week following a loved one’s passing and in heart failure patients older than 75.

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