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British study suggests you can die from a broken heart

File photo courtesy: Freeimages.com

File photo courtesy: Freeimages.com

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Friday, May 9, 2014, 2:09 PM - A recent study by British researchers suggests that cardiovascular events rise for seniors after losing a loved one, the Toronto Star reports.

The February study, titled Increased Risk of Acute Cardiovascular Events After Partner Bereavement, was conducted by researchers from London and Uxbridge.

After analyzing the medical data of 30,477 patients 60 to 89 years of age between February 2005 and September 2012 a "marked increase in the occurrence of a range of cardiovascular events after partner bereavement" was discovered.

Lead author Dr. Sunil Shah of St. George's University told the Toronto Star that the study demonstrates that the grieving process can have a direct negative impact on heart health.

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The findings echo a previous study conducted by Dr. Shah which suggest seniors are at a higher risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke within 30 days of the loss of a spouse.

While some of the cardiovascular events analyzed in the study proved to be fatal, the vast majority did not.

"Approximately 85%of our cohort who experienced an event within 30 days was still alive within 6 months," the study says.

Researchers say the paper is an important step in developing better bereavement counselling programs.

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