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Scientists prove people can die from a broken heart

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People can die from a broken heart according to new research published in the Feb. 24, 2014, issue of the journal JAMA Internal Medicine by Dr. Sunil Shah, Senior Lecturer in Public Health at St. George's University of London and colleagues.

For the sake of clarity the researchers equate a broken heart with bereavement. The study concentrated on the feelings and behaviors of people who had lost a loved one to death during the 30 days after the death of a spouse or a child.

The study found that the rate of death from stroke or heart attack in people who had lost a loved one within the last 30 days was twice the rate of the same ailments in people that had not suffered the loss of a family member or spouse.

The researchers contend that the emotional trauma involved with the death of a loved one produces a higher level of stress in the grieving person and can produce adverse health events.

The scientists confirmed the relationship with stress by measuring blood levels of stress hormones in grieving people. People that are grieving had higher blood levels of stress hormones.

Grief in itself can cause people that have illnesses to forget to take their medications and result in higher rates of heart attack and stroke.

The researchers found that the potential for higher rates of death in grieving people began to be reduced after 30 days based on blood levels of stress hormones.

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