Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Risk of heart attack death may increase after adult sibling's death

Date:
February 27, 2013
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
The death of an adult sibling is associated with increased risk of death from heart attack among surviving siblings, especially if the sibling died of a heart attack. The increased risk is most evident years after the death. Healthcare providers should follow bereaved siblings to help recognize signs of acute or chronic psycho-social stress mechanisms that could lead to heart attack.

Your risk of dying from a heart attack may increase after your adult sibling dies, according to new research in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

"Death of a family member is so stressful that the resulting coping responses could lead to a heart attack," said Mikael Rostila, Ph.D., lead author of the study and associate professor at Stockholm University/Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. "But our results suggest that this association between the loss of a sibling and having a heart attack is more likely to occur some years after bereavement."

The study is the largest of its kind to show a link between death from heart attack and the death of an adult sibling. It included health information from a database of more than 1.6 million 40- to 69-year-olds in Sweden.

Researchers, looking at associations between loss of an adult sister or brother with heart attack and death in surviving siblings up to 18 years after their losses, found:

  • Surviving women were 25 percent and men 15 percent more likely to die from heart attack after the death of a sibling, compared to people who had not lost a sibling.
  • Increased risk of death from heart attack was four to six and a half years after the death of a sibling among women and two to six and a half years after among men.
  • No notable increased risk of heart attack occurred immediately after their siblings died.
  • If their sibling died of heart attack, the risk of heart attack death in the following years rose 62 percent among women and 98 percent among men.

Rostila said adverse coping responses, such as unhealthy lifestyles, underlie the association. Chronic mental stress following the death of a sibling could also lead to health consequences some years after the loss of a sibling. Similar genetics or shared risk factors during childhood may be the cause for both siblings dying from heart attack.

Healthcare providers should follow bereaved siblings to help recognize signs of acute or chronic psycho-social stress mechanisms that could lead to heart attack, Rostila said.

"We might be able to prevent heart attacks and other heart-related conditions by treating these siblings early on and recommending stress management," he said. "However, more detailed information from medical records, shared childhood social environment and family characteristics, and data on personal and relational characteristics is required to uncover the mechanisms causing the association between sibling death and heart attack."

Co-authors are Jan Saarela, Ph.D., and Ichiro Kawachi, Ph.D., M.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research and Swedish Research Council funded the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Risk of heart attack death may increase after adult sibling's death." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227162016.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2013, February 27). Risk of heart attack death may increase after adult sibling's death. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227162016.htm
American Heart Association. "Risk of heart attack death may increase after adult sibling's death." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227162016.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins