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It Takes a Year to Mend a Broken Heart, Study Shows

Apr 07, 2016 06:20 AM EDT
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It might just take a few months to recover from a broken heart caused by failed relationships and break ups, but a literal broken heart caused by a sudden death of your better half might take some time to heal.

Researchers discovered that losing your life partner can literally break your heart and it will take about a year to fully recover.

According to a recent study published in the journal Open Heart, people who lost their loved ones have an increased risk of developing an irregular heartbeat.

Irregular heartbeat or atrial fibrillation, according to National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, can increase the risk of stroke and heart failure.

In a press release, researchers said atrial fibrillation has a higher risk of developing within eight to 14 days after the passing of a partner. The risk will gradually subside to the usual level, similar to those who don't experience the same fate, after a year.

The study also revealed that people who are below 60 years old and people who were left behind by their spouse suddenly have the greater risk of developing an irregular heartbeat. 

For the study, researchers identified 88,612 of hospital diagnosed cases of atrial fibrillation.

A control group consisting of 886,120 healthy people were also made.

Both were matched with a ratio of 1:10 depending on their age and sex.

Out of the 88,612 diagnosed with atrial fribillation, 17,478 had lost their partners, while 168,940 in the control group have also lost their loved one.

After considering several factors such as underlying illnesses and their associated treatments, researchers discovered that those who are grieving have a 41 percent higher risk of developing irregular heartbeat for the first time, compared to those who did not experience such loss.

Researchers also discovered that there is 57 percent more chance of developing an irregular heartbeat if the spouses of the bereaved people were healthy a month before passing away.

In a report from Irish Examiner, the authors of the study cautioned no causal relationship can be deduced in the study but it has been commonly known that bereavement can increase the risk of mental illness, cardiovascular diseases and even death.

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