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Pearl Toh, 10 Jul 2018
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Mental stress from bereavement poses short-, long-term health risk

07 Jul 2018

Individuals who experience mental stress from bereavement appear to have increased short- and long-term mortality, and this excess mortality risk further rises with the number of morbidity, a study reports.

Researchers followed 389,316 bereaved individuals for 17 years. The bereaved individuals were each matched with five reference individuals according to sex and date of birth. Prospectively recorded register data were collected for civil and vital status, 39 mental and physical diagnoses, and socioeconomic factors.

A total of 137,247 bereaved individuals died during follow-up. Compared with nonbereaved controls, bereaved individuals had higher all-cause mortality in the entire study period. Specifically, mortality was highest shortly after the loss (first month: adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 2.50; 95 percent CI, 2.37–2.63; 6–12 months: aHR, 1.38; 1.34–1.42).

The elevated mortality rate associated with bereavement increased with the number of physical diseases. The rates of excess death per 1,000 person-months for individuals with 0 vs 3 physical conditions during the first month after loss were 1.33 vs 7.00. This was exacerbated by the presence of mental illness.

Among bereaved individuals, excess mortality was mainly attributed to death from natural causes.

The present data suggest that mental stress from the loss of a spouse appears to have both short- and long-term health effects, which persist for more than 10 years, researchers said. Additional studies are needed to identify effective stress-reducing interventions, particularly those targeting individuals with multimorbidity.

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Most Read Articles
Pearl Toh, 10 Jul 2018
A dual-hormone artificial pancreas (DAP) with a rapid delivery of insulin and pramlintide in a fixed ratio improves glycaemic control and reduces glucose variability in adults with type 1 diabetes (T1D) compared with first-generation artificial pancreas delivering insulin alone, according to a study presented at ADA 2018.
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Chocolate consumption is not associated with risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke or both combined in postmenopausal women free of pre-existing major chronic disease, a study suggests.
Pearl Toh, 5 days ago
More intensive lowering of LDL-C levels was associated with a progressively greater survival benefit than less intensive approach, when the baseline LDL-C levels were ≥100 mg/dL, reveals a meta-analysis of 34 randomized trials.
4 days ago
Switching from thiazide diuretic to ipragliflozin, a sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor, leads to improvements in metabolic parameters and body mass composition without affecting blood pressure in type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients, a recent study has found.