Although the common advice when it comes to a broken heart is to give it time and time will heal it, scientists say this treatment might not be enough. According to a recent study, broken heart and myocardial Infarction are connected.
According to a research reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, a broken heart is more than just a matter of speech. Grief might actually get you killed. Called the Determinants of MI Onset Study, the research looked at charts and had interviews with patients while in the hospital after a confirmed heart attack between 1989 and 1994.
The Determinants of MI Onset Study showed that people mourning a close relative are 21 times more likely to suffer a heart attack themselves within the first day after that person’s death. The risks reduce, but within the first week, they still remain as high as almost six times than what’s normal.
The study has also showed that increased risk of heart attack within the first week after the death of a significant person will vary from one per 320 people with a high heart attack risk to one per 1,394 people with a low heart attack risk.
Scientists explain that grief affects the body in a significant way. The psychological stress, lack of sleep and forgetting to take medication according to schedule can increase heart rare, blood pressure as well as blood clotting. All of these are factors that raise the risks of suffering a heart attack.
Doctor Murray Mittleman, a preventive cardiologist and epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School, explained: “Caretakers, healthcare providers, and the bereaved themselves need to recognise they are in a period of heightened risk in the days and weeks after hearing of someone close dying”.
Mittleman warns that “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”.
Elizabeth Mostofsky, lead author of the study, said that “friends and family of bereaved people should provide close support to help prevent such incidents, especially near the beginning of the grieving process”.