Objectives: This study is the first to examine the effect of bereavement of a first-degree family member on subsequent morbidity over a 10-year follow-up period. Methods: A sample of bereaved subjects (n = 72) were compared with a control group (n = 80) recruited in the same period with respect to morbidity experience during follow-up. Morbidity events were ascertained from the subject themselves, their health care providers and these sources were also compared. Results: Bereavement was associated with an elevated total burden of illness as well as with mental health and circulatory system categories diagnosed according to the International Classification of Diseases-Clinically Modified (ICD-9) classification system. The elevation ranged from approximately 20% for any illness to 60-100% among circulatory system disorders. Although in an earlier study there was a downregulation of T-cell function in the bereaved during the first 8 weeks, there was no evidence that the bereavement was associated with increased morbidity in the respiratory or immune system ICD-9 categories long-term. Conclusions: Past epidemiological research has indicated that bereavement of a close family member is associated with adverse health consequences of a generalised morbidity. Our study suggests an increase in mental health and circulatory system effects in particular. Further research is required to determine whether other systems are also affected by bereavement.