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Study Finds Link Between Bad Marriage and Bad Heart

Posted on in Divorce

unhappy marriage heart healthIf you are stuck in a bad marriage, you may be suffering from a broken heart – literally. A new study has concluded that there is a link between living in an unhappy marriage and dealing with heart disease.

Previous studies which suggested such a link were all lab-based. This new study, which was funded by the National Institute of Aging and recently published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, was the first population-representative research to confirm these findings. The research team was made up of sociologists from the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago.

The study examined data collected for the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project. The data used was taken over a period of five years from 1,200 married men and women. At the beginning of that project, the ages of participants ranged in age from 57 to 85 years old. Not only did participants answer questions regarding the quality of their marriage, but they were also asked questions regarding their cardio-health and subjected to lab tests over the five years of the project.

After examining all the information which had been gathered for the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project, the new study’s research team found that:

  • People who came from bad marriages had higher rates of heart disease issues than people who were in good marriages. Criteria for bad marriages included having a spouse who was demanding and/or critical.
  • The older a person is, and the longer the marriage is, the more damage is done to the heart. This may be due to continued stress from the bad marriage, combined with the frailties that come along with old age.
  • The effect of a bad marriage on the heart affects women more than it does men. Researchers point out that women tend to internalize stress and negativity, which causes depression and other health issues.
  • The effect the heart disease has on the quality of the marriage affects women, but not men. Women who had heart disease felt the medical condition played a key role in the declining quality of their marriage. Men who suffered from heart disease did not.

If you have been in an unhappy marriage and are ready to make the move towards divorce, contact an experienced Arlington Heights divorce attorney to discuss what legal options you may have.

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