That's the word from a study in the Journal of Public Health that was based on responses from 12, participants who were followed for 10 years. Some doctors have speculated that this "widowhood effect" results because surviving spouses stop paying attention to their own health and well-being as their partners' health deteriorates, but it's not clear if that's the reason. It also found that after the first three months, there's still a "widowhood effect" — about a 15 percent increased chance of dying for the surviving spouse. Although previous research had reported that men face a greater risk than women of dying soon after a spouse, the study found equal chances for men and women. If your spouse has just passed away, and you find yourself struggling, reach out to your family and friends for help. Meanwhile, the same study found that widowed women have a much higher risk of dying from COPD, colon cancer, accidents or serious fractures, or lung cancer in the months following their husbands' deaths.
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