Proof broken hearts can be fatal

It is possible to die from a broken heart, mounting evidence shows.

A review of recent work, published in The Lancet, found that the risk of death increases by up to a fifth following bereavement.

Investigator Margaret Stroebe of Utrecht University, The Netherlands, said the psychological distress caused by the loss played a big part.

Heart experts say people who lose a partner often adopted unhealthy habits such as smoking and poor diet. Indeed, for widowers, the increased death risk will probably be linked with alcohol consumption and the loss of their sole confidante, who would have overseen her husband's health status, the researchers told The Lancet.

In widows, the picture is not as clear, but intense loneliness and the psychological distress caused by the loss could play a large part.

Experts know psychological stress can cause physical changes in the body - stress hormones can disrupt body processes.

Source - BBC

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