A broken heart increases the risk of heart attack, according to a new study by leading medical professionals in Boston.
Researchers found that grieving the loss of a loved one increases the risk of having a heart attack up to 21 times higher than normal.
The study was conducted by the Harvard Medical School's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and School of Public Health's epidemiology department in Boston.
"Friends and family of bereaved people should provide close support to help prevent such incidents, especially near the beginning of the grieving process," Elizabeth Mostofsky, lead author of the research, said.
The study, which was released in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, reports that grief causes symptoms that raise the risk of cardiac attacks.
Those symptoms include higher heart rate, blood pressure, stress hormone levels, and blood clotting.