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Mother's Risk to Die Extremely Increased after Death of Child

Mother's Risk to Die Extremely Increased after Death of Child

(epharmanews)- Mothers are very likely to die in the first two years following the death of a child, according to a new study published in the current issue of Economics and Human Biology.

Researchers from the University of Notre Dame studied 69,224 mothers aged 20 to 50 over a nine years period and tracked for the mortality of children even after they had left the household.  Of the studied women, 84% were married, 87% were white, and 91% were non-Hispanic. A bit more than half of them were aged between 20 and 34. Nearly a half had a high school education and one third had some college education or a college degree. Less than 20% had less than a high school education.

The researchers found a 133% increased risk of mother dying after the death of a child.

The study suggests that this increased mortality is most likely to occur in the first two years following the death of a child. The age of the child at the time of death was insignificant. Other factors such as household income, mother’s education, family size, the child’s sex or the child’s cause of death appeared to be of no real importance either.

Although this study is the first to examine the death of mothers after their children died, earlier studies from Denmark did examine parents who lost a child and researchers found that parents who experienced the death of a child were very likely to be hospitalized for mental disorders, compared to parents who did not lose a child. The risk was relatively higher in mothers, and the effect of this risk was most acute during the first year and significantly elevated for five years or more.

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Prepared by: Nessrin Biram

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