Grief causes higher risk of heart attack, study finds

11 January 2012

People suffering from grief after a loved one has died are at increased risk of having cardiac problems, it has been revealed.

Researchers in the US have found that a heart attack is 21 times more likely within the first day of bereavement and six times more likely within the first seven days following a death.

Lead investigator Dr Murray Mittleman of Harvard Medical School's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center said: "During situations of extreme grief and psychological distress, you still need to take care of yourself and seek medical attention for symptoms associated with a heart attack."

He added that out of the 2,000 people studied, those who had lost someone close to them were at a significantly heightened risk of heart complications due to the stress on the muscle that could cause shortness of breath and chest pain.

Furthermore, the psychological stress associated with a death in the family can raise heart rate, blood pressure and the risk of blood clotting.

Researchers at the University of Missouri recently found a unique protein organisation in arteries that could be associated with the onset of cardiovascular disease.

Posted by Edward Bartel

Meininger G, et al., "Spatial Distribution and Mechanical Function of Elastin in Resistance Arteries",Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, the Journal of the American Heart Association, January 9th 2012

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:

or

Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.

or

Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...

Categories

Cardiac

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)