Skip 
Navigation Link
Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
Health Tip: Rewarding Kids Without FoodDo Older Dads Produce Brainy Boys?USPSTF Concludes Screening for Obesity Beneficial for ChildrenFirearms Kill or Wound 7,000 U.S. Children AnnuallyGuns Kill or Wound 7,000 U.S. Kids a Year: ReportTime for Some Summer Sun Safety TipsHealth Tip: Applying Sunscreen on ChildrenMany Preemies Don't Struggle in SchoolHealth Tip: When Your Child Won't Eat LunchResearchers Target Zolmitriptan Dosing for Pediatric MigraineMigraine Warning Signs May Differ in Kids, AdultsHealth Tip: Keep Germs Out of Pool WaterWhen a Divorce Turns Bitter, Kids' Immune Systems May Pay a PriceBrush Up on Swim Safety for SummerLawn Mowers Are Risky Business for KidsAre All Those 'Fidget Spinners' Really Helping Kids?1 in 5 U.S. Kids Killed in Crashes Not Restrained ProperlyHelping Ease Kids' Fears After Manchester Terror AttackOverweight in Childhood May Up Lifetime Risk of DepressionOverweight Boys Face Higher Colon Cancer Risk as AdultsHeavy Kids Face Triple the Odds for Depression in AdulthoodHealth Tip: Limit a Young Child's Media TimeMany Parents Underestimate Drowning RisksChildren Express Positive Views of Digital Tracking by StrangersToo Many Parents Say No to Helmets for Kids on WheelsHear This! Keep Cotton Swabs Out of Kids' EarsHealth Tip: Be a Safe Driver for Your Kids'Dr. Google' May Undermine Parents' Trust in Their PediatricianPAS: Hospitalizations Up for Suicidal Thoughts, Actions in KidsGuns Send About 16 U.S. Kids to the Hospital Every DayWhen Grandparents Raise Grandkids, Are They Up to Date on Child Safety?More Starring Roles for Booze in Kids' Movies, Study FindsThe Family That Eats Together, BenefitsAre Smartphones Helping or Harming Kids' Mental Health?More Active Kids Could Save U.S. Billions in Health Costs: StudyTrump Administration Rolls Back Obama-Era School Lunch RulesAre Bullies Getting Run Out of U.S. Schools?Health Tip: Turn Off Those ScreensKids' Sun Safety Means 'Slip, Slap, Slop'Pediatricians Missing Elevated Blood Lead Levels in U.S.AAP Stresses Medical Home Best for Acute Health ConcernsAre Kids' Vaccines a Victim of Their Own Success?Checklist for Family-Centered Rounds Deemed BeneficialChildren With Suspected Child Abuse Present to Hospital LateCancer Risk Rises After Childhood Organ Transplant: StudyModel Predicts Which Pediatric ER Patients Likely to Be AdmittedObesity Quadruples Kids' Type 2 Diabetes Risk: StudyAre You Raising an 'Emotional Eater'?More Risks on School Playgrounds Linked to Happier ChildrenKids Face Their Own Death Risks When a Sibling Dies
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Parenting
Child Development & Parenting: Infants (0-2)
Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7)

Kids Face Their Own Death Risks When a Sibling Dies

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Apr 24th 2017

new article illustration

MONDAY, April 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The loss of a sibling can take an emotional toll on a child left behind. Now, new research shows these surviving children may even face a higher risk of early death themselves.

The study of more than 5 million children found the greatest risk in the year after a brother or sister's death, and among kids who lost a same-sex sibling or one who was close in age.

"Health care professionals should be aware of children's vulnerability after experiencing sibling death... Social support may help to reduce the level of grief and minimize potential adverse health effects on the bereaved individuals," study author Yongfu Yu and co-authors wrote. Yu is a doctoral fellow at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark.

Yu's team analyzed data from more than 5 million children in Denmark and Sweden. Between the ages of 6 months and 18 years, about 1 percent (55,818) lost a sibling. The survivors' median age when the death occurred was 7.

Over the next 37 years, 534 of the bereaved siblings died. They had a 71 percent higher risk of death from all causes than people who had not lost a sibling, the researchers said.

The findings were published online April 24 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

The study did not take into account social environment or family characteristics that might explain the increased likelihood of an earlier death, the researchers acknowledged.

Nearly 8 percent of people in the United States have experienced the death of a sibling in childhood.

More information

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has more on sibling death.