WEDNESDAY, July 6, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The death of a family member is associated with an increased risk of death in patients with heart failure, according to a study published online July 6 in JACC: Heart Failure.
Hua Chen of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and colleagues assessed whether the death of a close family member was associated with mortality in patients with heart failure. The analysis included 490,527 Swedish patients with a primary diagnosis of heart failure from 1987 to 2018.
The researchers found that the loss of a family member was associated with an increased risk of death (adjusted relative risk, 1.29). Whether a family member’s death was cardiovascular, natural, or unnatural, the association persisted. The risk was higher for two losses versus one loss and was highest in the first week after the loss. The association between bereavement and increased risk of mortality was observed for the death of a child, spouse/partner, grandchild, and sibling, but not for death. death of a relative.
“The death of a family member was associated with an increased risk of mortality in patients with heart failure,” the authors write. “Further studies are needed to determine whether less severe sources of stress may also contribute to poor prognosis in heart failure and to explore the mechanisms underlying this association.”