Nav: Home

Does death of a sibling in childhood increase risk of death in surviving children?

April 24, 2017

Bereavement in childhood due to the death of a sibling was associated with an increased risk for death in both the short and long term, according to a new article published by JAMA Pediatrics.

Nearly 8 percent of individuals in the United States are estimated to have experienced a sibling dying in childhood.

Yongfu Yu, Ph.D., of Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark, and coauthors conducted a population-based study that included more than 5 million Danish and Swedish children who survived the first six months of life. Death of a sibling was experienced by 55,818 (1.1 percent) in childhood (from six months after birth until 18) and the median age was 7 at sibling loss. During a follow-up of 37 years, 534 individuals in this bereaved group died.

Compared with those who did not experience the death of a sibling, the bereaved group had a 71 percent increased risk of death from all causes. The increased risk of death after a sibling's death was seen across the follow-up but higher risks of death were found in the first year after a sibling's death, as well as among same-sex sibling pairs or siblings with a small age difference, according to the results.

Limitations of the study include a lack of data on social environment and family characteristics which might help explain underlying reasons that link sibling death and increased risk of death for the bereaved sibling. Other factors may also exert influence over the associations researchers have detailed.

"Health care professionals should be aware of children's vulnerability after experiencing sibling death, especially for same-sex sibling pairs and sibling pairs with close age. Social support may help to reduce the level of grief and minimize potential adverse health effects on the bereaved individuals," the article concludes.
-end-
For more details and to read the full study, please visit the For The Media website.

(JAMA Pediatr. Published online April 24, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.0197; available pre-embargo at the For The Media website.)

Editor's Note: The article contains funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

The JAMA Network Journals

Related Death Articles:

Risk of death from stroke falls by 24%
Thousands more patients each year are surviving strokes, as the risk of death and disability after a stroke fell significantly between 2000 and 2015, according to analysis by Guy's and St Thomas' researchers.
Cells control their dance of death
La Trobe University researchers have revealed for the first time how white blood cells control the final moments of their death, helping their own removal from the human body.
Predicting frailty, disability and death
In a study led by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital, researchers analyzed patterns of movement among elderly study participants and found that irregular, spontaneous fluctuations could predict a person's risk of frailty, disability and death years later.
One in 10 people have 'near-death' experiences, according to new study
The new findings were presented at the 5th European Academy of Neurology (EAN) Congress.
Jobs vs. death toll: Calculating corporate death penalties
What misdeeds warrant corporate death penalties? A new study explores two case studies focused on industries that kill more people than they employ.
New role for death molecule
To unravel programmed cell death pathways, investigators examine a molecule deemed unimportant, and find new function.
Death near the shoreline, not life on land
Our understanding of when the very first animals started living on land is helped by identifying trace fossils--the tracks and trails left by ancient animals--in sedimentary rocks that were deposited on the continents.
Fine-tuning cell death: New component of death machinery revealed
An important component of the microscopic machinery that drives cell death has been identified by Australian scientists.
Slow death of nearby galaxy
Astronomers from CSIRO and The Australian National University have witnessed, in the finest detail ever, the slow death of a neighbouring dwarf galaxy, which is gradually losing its power to form stars.
The world needs death and decomposition
Thanks to a new study by Michigan State University, scientists now have a better way to investigate decomposing plants' and animals' contributions to the ecosystem.
More Death News and Death Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.