Sudden Death May Follow on Anniversary of Parent’s Demise
Findings from an intriguing study found a relationship between the anniversary of one’s parent’s death and one’s own sudden death. The study, reported at an American College of Cardiology meeting, revealed that 13 out of 102 sudden deaths occurred on the anniversary of one’s parent’s demise. Out of the 13 (12.7%) 10 of the sudden deaths (77%) occurred in males. Sudden death was not associated with family members other than parents. Interestingly, 4 of the patients who experienced sudden death on the anniversary of their parent’s death died at the same age as their parent. The following is an excerpt of an article from Medpage Today that reviews the study:
He said that patients and physicians need to be aware that psychological factors can trigger sudden death.
Physicians, he said, should ask patients about the deaths of close family members and should take action to prevent sudden death, including psychological therapy, stress reduction, behavior modification, management of cardiovascular risk factors, and treatment with medications like beta-blockers or aspirin.
Recently, psychological and chronobiological factors — including the anniversary effect — have been identified as triggers for sudden death or lethal arrhythmia, he said. So he and colleagues examined the life circumstances surrounding the 102 sudden deaths in patients ages 37 to 79.
More than two-thirds (68%) of the cases had underlying coronary artery disease.
Seven patients died on the anniversary of their father’s death, five on the anniversary of their mother’s death, and one on the anniversary of the deaths of both parents.