CAN HEARTBREAK KILL YOU?

 CAN HEARTBREAK KILL YOU?

The answer, if studies are to be believed, is yes. According to a study by University of Birmingham, UK, extreme emotions like grief, pain and sense of loss can cause fatal damage to your immune system, thus endangering your life. So if you feel as though your grief is so strong as to kill you, it is likely that the feeling is very real.
The effect of bereavement on blood cells called neutrophils was studied by scientists. Neutrophils combat bacterial infections such as pneumonia etc. When blood samples were taken from recently-bereaved people and tested for their neutrophil effectiveness at killing bugs, the findings were revelatory.
The neutrophils of young people who were mourning were relatively unaffected, but those of people over the age of 65 were found to be no longer able to fight bacteria, thus making them less immune to diseases and infection. Also, the sense of bereavement is often a psychological battle, and the older you are, the less able you are to overcome the feeling of loneliness that can be brought upon by the death of a loved one.
Research has also shown that there is gender bias when it comes to heartbreak. Losing a wife makes a widower six time more likely to die than a widow who has lost her husband, whose odds only double. The risk peaks for either surviving spouse during the first year after bereavement, and understandably, couples who are married for the longest time face this danger the most.

Brinda Rajkumar Shah

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