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Parents who lose baby before its first b'day are more likely to die early

Posted On: Sept. 10, 2011

Washington, Sept 08 (ANI): Parents who lose their baby during its first year of life are much more likely to die early, according to a new research.

UK researchers said that bereaved parents are between two and four times more likely to die early or become widowed in the first 10 years after losing a child compared with those who are not bereaved.

While it is well known that people can die of a "broken heart" after the death of a spouse, little was analyzed about the impact of losing a child.

This study is the first to look at the effect on UK parents.

The researchers looked at a random 5 percent sample of UK death registrations among parents whose child had survived beyond the first year of life and those whose child had died before reaching a first birthday for the period 1971 to 2006.

The results showed that parents in Scotland were more than twice as likely to die or become widowed in the first 15 years after the loss of a child in the first year as those who had not been bereaved in this way.

They also found that bereaved mothers in England and Wales were more than four times as likely to die in the first 15 years after losing a child.

And although the effects lessened gradually over time, they were still 1.5 times more likely to die than mothers who had not lost their child early, up to 25 years after the death.

The findings are published online in BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care. (ANI)

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