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

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."

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

Related Stories

Recommended for you

A-fib recurrence common five years after ablation

date Apr 17, 2015

(HealthDay)—Most patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and systolic heart failure who undergo ablation have AF recurrence at five years, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of ...

Applied physics helps decipher the causes of sudden death

date Apr 17, 2015

Sudden cardiac death accounts for approximately 10% of natural deaths, most of which are due to ventricular fibrillation. Each year, it causes 300,000 deaths in the United States and 20,000 in Spain. Researchers have demonstrated ...

Cognitive problems are common after cardiac arrest

date Apr 17, 2015

Half of all patients who survive a cardiac arrest experience problems with cognitive functions such as memory and attention. This has been shown by a major international study led from Lund University. Surprisingly, however, ...

User 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.