New Delhi: For a new study, researchers examined the effect grief has on human health by conducting interviews with 99 people whose spouses had recently died. They also examined their blood.
They compared people who showed symptoms of elevated grief—such as pining for the deceased, difficulty moving on, a sense that life is meaningless, and an inability to accept the reality of the loss—to people who did not exhibit those behaviours.
The study, published in Psychoneuroendocrinology, found that in the initial months after the loss of a spouse, the widowed people show higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (immune markers that indicate inflammation in the bloodstream), as well as lower heart rate variability (HRV), compared to non-bereaved individuals from same age group, sex and body mass index. Such conditions lead to some potentially deadly diseases that affect both physical and mental health.
Hence, science proved that a broken heart can be so fatal that people might succumb to its grief.