Bereavement and Prognosis After a First Acute Myocardial Infarction: A Swedish Register-Based Cohort Study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of the American Heart Association (JAHA). 2022, 11 (17), . 10.1161/JAHA.122.027143
BACKGROUND Despite accumulating evidence suggesting that bereavement is associated with increased risks of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, the association between bereavement and prognosis after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) has not been well documented. We investigated the association by using Swedish register data. METHODS AND RESULTS We studied 266 651 patients with a first AMI included in the SWEDEHEART (Swedish Web‐system for Enhancement and Development of Evidence‐based care in Heart disease Evaluated According to Recommended Therapies) quality register from 1991 to 2018. We obtained information on bereavement (ie, death of a partner, child, grandchild, sibling, or parent), on primary (nonfatal recurrent AMI and death attributed to ischemic heart disease) and secondary outcomes (total mortality, heart failure, and stroke) and on covariates from several national registers. The association was analyzed using Poisson regression. The bereaved patients had a slightly increased risk of the primary outcome; the corresponding risk ratio (RR) was 1.02 (95% CI, 1.00–1.04). An increased risk was noted any time bereavement occurred, except if the loss was in the year after the first AMI. The association was strongest for the loss of a partner, followed by the loss of a child, grandchild, sibling, or parent. We also observed increased risks for total mortality (RR, 1.14 [95% CI, 1.12–1.16]), heart failure (RR, 1.05 [95% CI, 1.02–1.08]), and stroke (RR, 1.09 [95% CI, 1.05–1.13]) following bereavement. CONCLUSIONS Bereavement was associated with an increased risk of poor prognosis after a first AMI. The association varied by the relationship to the deceased.