A Despondent Heart May Kill You

It may sound hard to believe, but true. Losing a loved one can cause someone to die from a broken heart.

A study by University of Birmingham, UK, has revealed that extreme emotions like grief, pain and sense of loss can cause fatal damage to your immune system putting your life at risk.

Before coming to the conclusion, scientists studied the effects of bereavement on blood cells called neutrophils, which help in combating bacterial infections such as pneumonia etc. To make their study concrete, they took blood samples from recently-bereaved people and looked at how good their neutrophils were at killing bugs.

Though the neutrophils of young people, who were mourning, remained relatively unaffected, those of people over the age of 65 were no longer able to fight bacteria. Moreover, the older people suddenly find themselves lonely after the death of a beloved one, making them more vulnerable to falling ill.

Research also discovered some stunning facts. They found that losing a wife makes a widower six times more likely to die, while a widow’s risk of death is doubled.

The risk peaks for either surviving spouse in the first year after bereavement, with couples who were married for the longest time being in more danger.

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