Doctors have long understood the impact of grief on one's health. Now, a new study has revealed how fragile a broken heart can really be.
Researchers in Britain have found that bereft people face the risk of death in the first year of being widowed. In fact, men are six times more likely to die of a broken heart than women.
According to lead researcher Dr Jaap Spreeuw of the Cass Business School in London, the study has confirmed the existence of "broken heart syndrome".
"We all know that the death of a loved one will have massive impact on the life of the husband or wife left behind, but this shows it will have direct impact on their mortality.
It statistically proves that people can die of a broken heart during the earliest stages of bereavement.
"The effect is stronger for older people who have been married longer. The good news is that after the first years of mourning, the chance of dying goes down. Although it remains higher than for couples where neither partner has died, it does lessen over time," Dr Spreeuw said.