More than 22,000 people die of cancer in Sweden each year. It has been scientifically proven that relatives of the deceased are at greater risk of dying themselves or developing mental and physical illness, although studies have tended to focus on widows, and on the short-term risks.
Unique long-term study
Researchers at the University of Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska Academy have now carried out a unique long-term study of 691 Swedish men who lost their wives to cancer. Part-funded by the Swedish Cancer Society and the Swedish Research Council, the study shows that widowers who had found a new partner four to five years after the death of their wife managed to deal with their loss relatively well.
Sleeping pills and antidepressants
However, those who remained single were at far greater risk of developing depression, anxiety, sleep disorders and emotional blunting, and were also more likely to use sleeping pills and antidepressants.
“Previous studies have shown that people who lose their partner are at greater short-term poor mental health,” says professor Gunnar Steineck who worked on the study. “Our study is the first to show that the risk of poor mental health last for many years but, on the average, the risk is restricted to those who don’t find a new partner.”
Can your results be interpreted as proof that love heals?
“We need more research to understand the underlying mechanisms, but yes, emotional support from a new partner does probably help to process grief and protect against mental illness,” says Steineck. “But it could also be the case that those men who cope best with their loss are more likely to show an interest in finding a new partner.”
The study was based on a questionnaire sent out to 691 widows in Sweden. It included questions on medication and perceived quality of life, and the answers were then compared with those from a control group of around 300 married men.For more information, please contact: Gunnar Steineck, professor at the Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg
Authors: Arna Hauksdóttir, Unnur Valdimarsdóttir, Carl Johan Fürst, Gunnar Steineck
The study has been published in the journal Psycho-Oncology. Link to article: http://bit.ly/w0gh5P
Sibling differences: Later-borns choose less prestigious programs at university
14.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung
Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ
09.11.2017 | Vanderbilt University
A study carried out by an international team of researchers and published in the journal Physical Review X shows that ion-trap technologies available today are suitable for building large-scale quantum computers. The scientists introduce trapped-ion quantum error correction protocols that detect and correct processing errors.
In order to reach their full potential, today’s quantum computer prototypes have to meet specific criteria: First, they have to be made bigger, which means...
Since 2016, German and Spanish researchers, among them scientists from the University of Göttingen, have been hunting for exoplanets with the “Carmenes”...
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
18.12.2017 | Life Sciences
18.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
18.12.2017 | Life Sciences