Can a broken heart kill you?
Believe it or not, losing a loved one can cause someone to die from a broken heart. According to a study by University of Birmingham, UK, extreme emotions like grief, pain and sense of loss can cause fatal damage to your immune system, thus endangering your life.
Scientists studied the effects of bereavement on blood cells called neutrophils, which help in combating bacterial infections such as pneumonia etc. 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! This, plus the fact that older people suddenly find themselves lonely after the death of a beloved one, makes them more vulnerable to falling ill.
DID YOU KNOW? Research has shown 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!