A review of 16 relevant studies found mortality was higher among those who had been recently bereaved.
One study showed that widowers were 3.3 times more likely to commit suicide than married men.
Another suggested mortality was 17% higher in widowers than the rest of population over a five-year period. It was 6% higher in widows.
‘The increased risk will probably be associated with alcohol consumption and the loss of their sole confidante,’ the study authors said.
The Lancet (2007) 370: 1960–1973