A bad marriage can be bad for your heart health and increase the risk of developing heart disease or artery disease, research suggests.
Being in a conflicted relationship can lead people, women in particular, to be more likely to develop heart disease compared to those in good marriages, according to a team of researchers from Michigan State University in the U.S. and published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.
Researchers assessed data from over a 5 year period, including 1,200 married men and women who were aged 57 to 85 when the study started. The participants were part of the National Social Life Health and Aging Project in the U.S. and were surveyed on questions regarding marital quality as well as looking at rates of heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure.
The results showed that as you age, the effects of the quality of a marriage can strongly increase the risk of heart disease as well as contribute to a decline in immune function, for women in particular.
Previous studies on the health effects of marriage have found that people who are unhappy with their spouse could be at higher risk of depression, high blood pressure and even heart disease. Unhealthy habits can also arise due to unhappy relationships, researchers say, such as smoking and drinking.
Heart Disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, refers to a condition that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. Other heart conditions, such as those that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or rhythm, also are considered forms of heart disease. Many forms of heart disease can be prevented.