Here’s some cheery news to kick off your day: A new study has found that a figurative broken heart literally has the potential to kill you.
Researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark studied nearly one million Danish participants between 1995 and 2015 to find a link between heartbreak and death, and discovered that the risk of death was highest eight to 14 days after the loss and then “gradually declined.” But no, you aren’t at risk if your Tinder date ghosts you; the study found the correlation among people whose partners had passed away, not simply ended the relationship. They also found that if the partner left behind survives 12 months, their risk decreases dramatically: “One year after the loss, the risk was almost the same as in the non-bereaved population,” it claimed.
Apparently the likelihood of developing an irregular heartbeat (which could be fatal) was much higher after the loss of a partner, which is where the idea of dying from a broken heart actually comes from: “The risk of developing an irregular heartbeat for the first time was 41 percent higher among those who had been bereaved than it was among those who had not experienced such a loss,” said the study. This isn’t something that just impacts the elderly either—researchers found that people under 60 were more than twice as likely to develop problems after losing their partner, particularly if the death was sudden.