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Why Do Grieving Spouses Often Pass Away Soon After Their Partner?

Why Do Grieving Spouses Often Pass Away Soon After Their Partner?

You’re probably familiar with a story like this one – either anecdotally or personally: there’s a couple who’ve been married many years, and they’re getting up there in age. Eventually one of them passes away, and then – relatively soon – so does the surviving spouse. We hear phrases like they “died of a broken heart,” or “they lost their sense of purpose.”

While we can’t necessarily prove or disprove those theories, a new study looks to explore the more empirical health factors that contribute to a bereaved spouse passing away soon after their partner.

Rice University psychologist Dr. Christopher Fagundes is launching a five-year study to determine what causes some grieving survivors to suffer unanticipated – and potentially fatal – heart attacks.

MORE:
Project HEART (Spousal Bereavement Study Website)
Project HEART (Facebook Page)
Study Seeks Cause of Fatal Bereavement (Rice University, Oct. 26, 2015)

CONTACT INFO:
Patricia Morales
Project Heart Project Coordinator
Email: Patricia.Morales@rice.edu
Phone: 713-348-8167

About the Author

Michael Hagerty

Michael HagertyMichael Hagerty is the Senior Producer for Houston Matters. He has a degree in journalism from Abilene Christian University and has served as news director for NPR and PBS stations around Texas and The West, including: KUNR-FM in Reno, Nev.; KNPB-TV in Reno, Nev.; and KWBU-TV/FM in Waco, Texas. He got his start on the air as a college student hosting Morning Edition at KACU-FM in Abilene, Texas. A native of the Chicago area and an avid Cubs fan, Michael spent four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.View all posts by Michael Hagerty →