The widowhood effect is the increase in the probability of a person dying a relatively short time after their long-time spouse has died. The pattern indicates a sharp increase in risk of death for the widower, particularly but not exclusively, in the three months closest thereafter the death of the spouse. This process of losing a spouse and dying shortly after has also been called "dying of a broken heart". Becoming a widow is often a very detrimental and life changing time in a spouse's life, that forces them to go through changes that they may not have anticipated to make for a significant amount of time. Responses of grief and bereavement due to the loss of a spouse increases vulnerability to psychological and physical illnesses.

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dbo:abstract
  • Efekt wdowieństwa – zjawisko gwałtownego wzrostu ryzyka przedwczesnej śmierci wdowca, od 30 do 100% w pierwszym roku od śmierci żony. Efekt ten nie dotyczy kobiet, jest też mniejszy u mężczyzn, którzy mają żony rasy czarnej. Zjawisko to zostało jednoznacznie potwierdzone i wielokrotnie zaobserwowane. W ciągu kilku następnych lat po śmierci żony ryzyko śmierci zmniejsza się. Żonaci mężczyźni żyją przeciętnie siedem lat dłużej od nieżonatych, natomiast zamężne kobiety jedynie dwa lata dłużej. Brak danych dotyczących występowania efektu wdowieństwa u par homoseksualnych. Efekt wdowieństwa jest też znacznie mniejszy u mężczyzn posiadających żony rasy negroidalnej, bez względu na rasę mężczyzny, co prawdopodobnie ma związek z większą tolerancją par mieszanych ze strony czarnych krewnych żony. W związku z tym owdowiali mężczyźni mogą liczyć na wsparcie ze strony teściów. (pl)
  • The widowhood effect is the increase in the probability of a person dying a relatively short time after their long-time spouse has died. The pattern indicates a sharp increase in risk of death for the widower, particularly but not exclusively, in the three months closest thereafter the death of the spouse. This process of losing a spouse and dying shortly after has also been called "dying of a broken heart". Becoming a widow is often a very detrimental and life changing time in a spouse's life, that forces them to go through changes that they may not have anticipated to make for a significant amount of time. Responses of grief and bereavement due to the loss of a spouse increases vulnerability to psychological and physical illnesses. Psychologically, losing a long-term spouse can cause symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and feelings of guilt. Physical illness may also occur as the body becomes more vulnerable to emotional and environmental stressors. There are many factors that may be affected when one becomes a widow. A widow (or widower if referring to a male who lost a spouse) tends to have a decline in health regulation. Higher prevalence in mortality rates are noted among bereaved spouses during the first six months of bereavement compared to the last six months of bereavement. The most crucial are said to be the first three months during grief processing. Grieving spouses are more vulnerable during these few months not only health wise but socially and physically. During this early period of bereavement spouses tend to have less interest in their health as well as physical appearance caring less about continuing with medications or adapting healthy behaviors such as eating healthy or exercising. Also, they are likelier to practice risky behaviors and commit suicide. Women on the other hand, are more likely to look for social support such as friends, family, or support groups regarding the matter. This effect appears to be far more prevalent in older married couples than in younger married couples. As a result, studies that have been conducted in regards to this phenomenon since the early 2000s have revolved primarily around observations of older widows. Through the many studies that have been conducted over the years, it has been found that the widowhood effect affects the mortality rates of people with varying levels of severity depending on their genders and religions. It is far more frequent in more seasoned, long-term, elder couples than in recently married couples. Since the topic has only been recently studied within this last decade, and due to the prevalence of older couples being affected, most widows in similar studies are typically over the age of 50 Although there have not been many studies, the phenomenon is one of the best documented examples of the effect of social relations on health. Through the numerous studies that have been directed throughout the years, it has been found that the widowhood impact influences the death rates of individuals with changing levels of stringencies relying upon their sexual orientations and religions. There are many theories as to what causes this to occur. There are many factors and theories about the widowhood effect, but in general, a study on a large population sample has suggested rates of death nearly double during the first three months after loss of a spouse, and quickly taper thereafter. (en)
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  • Efekt wdowieństwa – zjawisko gwałtownego wzrostu ryzyka przedwczesnej śmierci wdowca, od 30 do 100% w pierwszym roku od śmierci żony. Efekt ten nie dotyczy kobiet, jest też mniejszy u mężczyzn, którzy mają żony rasy czarnej. Zjawisko to zostało jednoznacznie potwierdzone i wielokrotnie zaobserwowane. W ciągu kilku następnych lat po śmierci żony ryzyko śmierci zmniejsza się. Żonaci mężczyźni żyją przeciętnie siedem lat dłużej od nieżonatych, natomiast zamężne kobiety jedynie dwa lata dłużej. Brak danych dotyczących występowania efektu wdowieństwa u par homoseksualnych. (pl)
  • The widowhood effect is the increase in the probability of a person dying a relatively short time after their long-time spouse has died. The pattern indicates a sharp increase in risk of death for the widower, particularly but not exclusively, in the three months closest thereafter the death of the spouse. This process of losing a spouse and dying shortly after has also been called "dying of a broken heart". Becoming a widow is often a very detrimental and life changing time in a spouse's life, that forces them to go through changes that they may not have anticipated to make for a significant amount of time. Responses of grief and bereavement due to the loss of a spouse increases vulnerability to psychological and physical illnesses. (en)
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  • Widowhood effect (en)
  • Efekt wdowieństwa (pl)
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