Protecting Against the Widowhood Effect

“He died of a broken heart.” This is the sentiment often used to describe the sad event of a husband dying soon after losing his wife. The opposite can also happen – a wife becomes a widow, but she does not survive long after his death. There’s a formal name for this phenomenon: the “widowhood effect.” Researchers have taken an interest in this life and death pattern because they want to know what might cause it as well as when widows and widowers are at highest risk.

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