Mortality after bereavement: a review of the literature on survival periods and factors affecting survival

Soc Sci Med. 1987;24(2):117-24. doi: 10.1016/0277-9536(87)90244-9.


Mortality rates for widowed people in every age group are known to be higher than for married people. Research suggests that the widowed have a greater risk of dying than married people of a similar age, the excess risk being greater for men. Little is known, however, about the causes of their apparently higher mortality rates. This paper examines the evidence relating to mortality rates and survival periods after bereavement. Explanations for the excess risk are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Death*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Mortality*
  • Risk
  • Single Person*
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Psychological