08/09/2011 10:53 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Bereaved Parents More Likely To Die Early

Bereaved parents PA

Mums and dads who lose a baby are significantly more likely to have their lives cut short too, according to a new study.

It found that bereaved mums in England and Wales have a four times higher risk of dying within 15 years of their baby's death, while Scottish parents were more than twice as likely to die or be widowed.

The BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care journal study examined 5% of UK deaths of bereaved parents from 1971 to 2006.

The researchers also found that the despite the risk lessening with time, it can last for up to 25 years.

The study claims that stress could affect immune systems or lead to "maladaptive coping" tactics such as alcohol misuse, which could prove fatal.