Death of partner associated with increased risk of heart attack, stroke

February 24, 2014

The risk of heart attack or stroke is increased in the 30 days after a partner's death.

Bereavement is recognized as a risk factor for death and is associated with .

The authors compared the rate of myocardial infarction (MI, ) or stroke in older patients (n=30,447, 60 to 89 years of age) whose partner died to that of individuals (n=83,588) whose partners were still alive during the same period.

Fifty patients (0.16 percent) experienced MI or stroke within 30 days of their partner's death compared with 67 (0.08 percent) of controls. The increased risk of MI or stroke in bereaved men and women lessened after 30 days.

"We have described a marked increase in in the month after spousal bereavement, which seems likely to be the result of adverse physiological responses associated with acute grief. A better understanding of psychosocial factors associated with acute cardiovascular events may provide opportunities for prevention and improved clinical care."

Explore further: Antipsychotic medication associated with modest heart attack risk in older patients with dementia

More information: JAMA Intern Med. Published online February 24, 2014. DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.14558

Related Stories

Oral multivitamin, multimineral safe, not effective after MI

December 17, 2013

(HealthDay)—For older patients with a history of myocardial infarction (MI), a high-dose oral multivitamin and multimineral mixture is safe, but does not significantly reduce cardiovascular events, according to a study ...

Recommended for you

Heart attack treatment hypothesis 'busted'

July 6, 2015

Researchers have long had reason to hope that blocking the flow of calcium into the mitochondria of heart and brain cells could be one way to prevent damage caused by heart attacks and strokes. But in a study of mice engineered ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.