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You Can Actually Die Of A Broken Heart, Says Study

Take it easy, you crusaders of love
by Mary Rose A. Hogaza | Jun 9, 2016
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Ever wondered why—as it sometimes happens—a person passes away just days, weeks, or months after the death of a loved one? Is the saying "sinundo na siya" real? Science says no. It's actually because being broken-hearted can actually break the body, sometimes causing actual death.

A study published in online journal Open Heart revealed that the loss of a partner may trigger atrial fibrillation (more popularly known as irregular heartbeat) which can be life-threatening. The researchers came to this conclusion after closely examining the information of 88,162 patients in Denmark who were newly diagnosed with atrial fibrillation from 1995 and 2014. Among those with atrial fibrillation, 17,478 had lost a partner.

The risk was said to be highest "8-14 days after the loss, after which it gradually declined." "One year after the loss, the risk was almost the same as in the non-bereaved population," the study reads. This means that the popular advice to "hang in there" is a sound one. Allow time to dull the pain, and a person suffering from a loss of a loved one will see their risk of dying from a broken heart go down.

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Those under 60 years old whose partners died unexpectedly were more than twice as likely to develop problems. Meanwhile, those whose partners were relatively healthy in the month before death were 57 percent more at risk. Unexpected deaths may bring more pain, the study reveals. "The severely stressful life event of losing a partner was followed by a transiently increased risk of atrial fibrillation lasting for one year, especially for the least-predicted losses," the researchers concluded.

While these figures bring to light the fact that bereavement does affect well-being, the researchers cautioned that no conclusions can be made about cause and effect as the study was merely an observational one.

Now if you want to avoid dying because of the above-mentioned factors, there's only one way out: Never fall in love. But what a horrible way to live that would be. 

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