Divorcees 'Have More Heart Attacks': Research

  • June 8, 2015
  • Editor: Eileen Cheng
  • Change Text Size: A  A  A

Divorcees are more likely to have a heart attack than their peers who stay married, US research suggests.

An analysis of 15,827 people showed women were worst affected, and barely reduced the risk if they remarried.

The study, published in the journal Circulation, argued that chronic stress, linked to divorce, had a long-term impact on the body.

The British Heart Foundation called for more research before divorce is classed as a major heart risk.

We already know that the death of a close loved one can greatly increase the risk of a heart attack.

Now a team at Duke University has shown a similar effect after divorce.

During the course of the study, between 1992 and 2010, roughly one in three people divorced at least once.

Women who divorced once were 24% more likely to have had a heart attack in the study than women who were continuously married. The figure was 77% for those having multiple divorces.

In men, there was a modest 10% extra risk for one divorce and 30% increase after multiple divorces.

One of the researchers Prof Linda George said: "This risk is comparable to that of high blood pressure or if you have diabetes, so it's right up there, it is pretty big."

When it came to remarriage, the risk was only marginally reduced for women while men bounced back.

"I think this is the most interesting bit in the paper," Prof George added.

She told the BBC News website: "We joke around here and call it the 'any-women-will-do orientation' for men.

"They're more comfortable being married than not married and cope with different women being their spouses.

"First marriages are protective for women and it's a little dicey after that."

But why?

The researchers found that changes in lifestyle, such as loss of income, could not explain the heightened risk.

Prof George told the BBC News website: "My educated speculation is that we know that psychological distress is a constant stress on the immune system, higher levels of inflammation and stress hormones increase.

"Immune function is altered for the worse and if that continues for many years it does take a physiological toll."

She argues the sex-difference is also found in depression and that divorce is a greater "psychological burden" for women although "we don't know exactly what's going on".
While tablets can reduce the risks caused by high blood pressure, there is no easy solution for the pain of divorce.

The researchers recommend close, supportive friends.

Prof Jeremy Pearson, from the British Heart Foundation, commented: "We have known for some time that our mental health can affect our heart health.

"This study suggests that divorce might increase a person's risk of a heart attack.

"But the results are not definitive so further evidence would be needed before divorce could be considered a significant risk factor for causing a heart attack."

(Source: China Daily)

Please understand that womenofchina.cn,a non-profit, information-communication website, cannot reach every writer before using articles and images. For copyright issues, please contact us by emailing: website@womenofchina.cn. The articles published and opinions expressed on this website represent the opinions of writers and are not necessarily shared by womenofchina.cn.


13.7K
comment on this story

Messages that harass, abuse or threaten others; have obscene or otherwise objectionable content; have commercial or advertising content or links may be removed.

    most popular
    • Most Viewed
    • Editor's Pick
    newsletter
       
    • Greetings Please the team for volleyball really need the iron hummer (LANG PING) as ahead coach not as a mentor give the notice and advice after the match but deal with the different situation during the match directly. You can see the big different ...Taha Saad from Iraq/Baghdad
    • Dear Sir/Madam, Peace greetings! Our organization is working in Rural & Urban areas of Pakistan. I would like to ask you if your organization can help us to work in collaboration with you and to provide such opportunities you are implementing. We h ...Madiha Aslam from Pakistan
    • Event Details: Conference series LLC is privileged to announce “11th International conference on Clinical Pediatrics” which is to be held during June 29-July 1, 2017 in London, UK. We cordially welcome all the eminent researchers, students and deleg ...Amy Jones from United Kingdom
    • I am a family member of Hubert Vos and wife Kaikilani I will be in China in June 2017. I would like to view my uncles paintings. Please advise who to contact. I M also looking for my Chinese family, John EnaJill Coney from USA
    • Dear Editor, Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Col McLaurin. I'm an Australian Engineer and 25 year resident of Cambodia. I subscribe to your esteemed magazine which I find incredibly interesting. I don't know if your magazine is ...Col McLaurin from Cambodia
    • Can we get justice for a dead girl? she killed herself on March 12nd, she has been taking the violence from her husband and her mother in law. this guy has a girl friend which is already pregnant 7 months, he betrayed his wife and hit his wife often, ...Monica Peng from China
    • I'm emailing to all over the world: Titanides´shower is a name of the Project. I should explain why has this name, can sound weird in english: The word 'ducha' (shower) in spanish is quite similar to ' lucha' (fight) make mencion to all the battle ...ANA ALONSO from España
    • Which gender analysis tools have resulted in strengthening organisational frameworks in organizations in your countryOmi from Zambia
    • Respected Sir/Madam, We have been working last 10 years for the women development in Morang district of NEPAL. Our organisation name SHREE SAYAPATRI MAHILA SEWA KENDRA is one the women development organisation which keeps helping the women of rura ...MANJU TIMSINA CHAPAGAIN from NEPAL
    • hello, I'm the English editor of the China Association for Science and Technology Online,http://english.cast.org.cn/ I appreciate the abundance of your website, we need to learn from you. Keep contact. Thank you.Chen Keke from China
      在线翻译