Discussions of the health consequences of bereavement have appeared with
increasing frequency in the literature in recent years. Capitalizing on one
of the largest samples of bereaved subjects to date, the authors analyzed
National Hospice Study bereavement interview data regarding the rate of
medical care use and short-term secondary morbidity. Results suggest that
physician visit rates were somewhat higher but hospitalization rates lower
among the recently bereaved than age- and sex-adjusted national norms.
Multivariate analyses revealed that previous health problems and having
been married to the deceased were consistently the strongest predictors of
morbidity and health care use.