Grief Can Increase The Risk Of Death By Heart Failure, Study Finds

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Mental Health News

Researchers at the American College of Cardiology explored the link between bereavement and increased risk of death in heart failure patients. The study is published in the journal JACC: Heart Failure.

The Study

To better understand the association between grief, heart failure, and mortality risk, the researchers surveyed almost 500,000 patients from the Swedish Heart Failure Registry in the years 2000-2018.

They also studied patients with a primary diagnosis of heart failure from the Swedish Patient Register during 1987-2018. Information about the deaths of the participants’ family members was further obtained from the Cause of Death Register.

The researchers analyzed how the relationship to the deceased, cause of death, time passed since the death of a family member, and grief after losing a loved one affected the participants’ heart failure mortality risk.

The Findings

The results confirmed that a family member’s death can be fatal to heart failure patients. The risk of dying from heart failure after the loss of any family member was found to be particularly high during the first week of bereavement. Science labels this as “broken heart syndrome”.

One of the lead authors, Krisztina László, elaborated: “The findings of the study may call for increased attention from family members, friends, and involved professionals for bereaved heart failure patients, particularly in the period shortly after the loss.

To Know More You May Refer To

Chen, H., Wei, D., Janszky, I., Dahlström, U., Rostila, M., & László, K. Bereavement and Prognosis in Heart Failure: A Swedish Cohort Study. JACC: Heart Failure, July 6, 2022; DOI: 10.1016/j.jchf.2022.05.005

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