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Broken hearts can kill men more easily than women

As you always knew. Broken hearts can kill men, but no big deal for women!

9 April, 2008

Losing a partner can break anybody’s heart, but a new research has revealed that men are more likely to die of a broken heart than women.

Broken hearts kill men

The research, carried out by Cass Business School, London, also showed that it is not only possible to die from a broken heart but also to recover from a broken heart.

The study, reported by Britain’s newspaper Telegraph, say s that, while women are nearly twice as likely to die in the year following a partner’s death, husbands are more vulnerable – a man’s chance of dying rises about 6-fold in the 12 months after the death of a partner.

Experts are of the opinion that people who lose a loved one often take to unhealthy habits such as smoking and a poor diet. However, it is believed that the painful loneliness and the psychological distress caused by the loss of the partner could play a significant role in speeding up a lonely person’s death.

The research conducted by London’s Cass Business School, based on analysis of 11,454 life annuity policies held by a Canadian insurer, however, suggests that after the first year, the chances of the remaining partner dying falls.

Dr Jaap Spreeuw, author of the study and senior lecturer in actuarial science at Cass Business School, was quoted as saying: “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 research 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 good news,” Dr Jaap Spreeuw continued, “is that it also shows that after the first years of mourning, the chance of dying decreases, demonstrating that people can recover from losing their loved one.”

The research, sponsored by the Actuarial Profession, was initiated to help insurance companies price life assurance and pension policies.

Telegraph quoted Paul Sweeting, chairman of the Actuarial Profession’s research steering committee, as commenting, “Not only this research does confirm the existence of the broken-heart syndrome but also gives an idea of how long the effect lasts. This could help to make premiums fairer, both for life assurance policies and for annuities.”





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