People who recently lost a spouse are more likely to have sleep disorders that exacerbate levels of inflammation in the body and these high levels of inflammation can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and death, they found researchers.
The study compared the self-reported sleep habits of newly widowed people to a control group. Both groups presented sleep disorders, such as insomnia. The researchers found that the link between sleep disorders and inflammation was two to three times higher for grieving spouses.
The corresponding author, Diana Chirinos, said the study suggests that these bereaved individuals are more susceptible to the adverse effects on poor sleep health.
"The death of a spouse is an acutely stressful event and must adapt to life without the support of the spouse," he said. "Add sleep disorder to their already stressful situation and double the stress factor." As a result, their immune system is more overactivated. "
Chirinos said that she and her fellow researchers already knew that widowed people had higher levels of inflammation. The previous work revealed that in the first six months after the loss of a spouse, widows and widowers have a 41% higher risk of mortality and 53% of this increase is due to cardiovascular disease. However, they wanted to find the specific cause.
Published: 10 November 2018 15:09