Sibling’s death increases heart attack risk
The death of a sibling can have a fatal effect on the remaining brothers and sisters, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. It found that women had a 25 percent increased risk of a fatal heart attack if they had lost a sibling, and men were 15 percent more likely to die of a heart attack after the death of a sibling.
What’s interesting is that the risk of heart attack did not increase immediately after the sibling’s death. Women’s heart attack risk did not start to elevate until four to six-and-a-half years after their sibling’s death, and men’s risk did not increase until two to six-and-a-half-years after the death.
Researchers said that the findings indicate that people often underestimate the long-term impact of a sibling’s death on the rest of the family. They noted that people often fall into unhealthy habits after the loss of a loved one, such as eating junk food, resuming smoking, stopping exercise and isolating themselves.