Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A bad relationship can break your heart, literally

couple relationships

Love is one of the most beautiful things that exist, however, a bad relationship is just the opposite, it can become a nightmare. In fact, the people involved in a conflictual relationship in the couple have a higher risk of suffering from heart problems.

A conflictual relationship damages the heart

Several studies have shown that married people tend to be healthier than single or divorced. But not all relationships are positive, the quality of the relationship is a key factor that will determine if the person next to you helps you resolve problems or, on the contrary, causes them.

In fact, the negative effects of a poor couple's relationship are found mostly in women, according to a study conducted at the National Institute of Health. These psychologists followed 1,200 people aged between 50 and 80 years old for a period of five years

The researchers mainly focused on cardiovascular health by analyzing the levels of cholesterol and cases of heart attacks and strokes. They following comparing their state of health with the degree of satisfaction in their marriage. It was investigated the emotional affinity with the partner, happiness in marriage and how critical and demanding was the person with whom they shared their lives.

Crossing the data, the researchers discovered that the quality of marriage was linked to the heart health, particularly in women. This way they discovered how a bad relationship in the couple is a constant source of stress, which causes changes in the body that have a cumulative effect and may end up causing cardiovascular problems.

In reality, this doesn’t mean that a discussion can cause a heart attack. The researchers explain that our body remembers, so that the consequences of a bad relationship appear over time.

Why are women more vulnerable?

This is not the first study to find a correlation between marital conflicts and cardiovascular problems in women. In fact, a research conducted with 300 Swedish women, found that the risk of suffering from a heart attack is multiplied by 3 when there are serious problems in the relationship. It is curious to note that the stress generated by an high level of stress at work does not represent a health risk so high.

Researchers believe that women are more vulnerable because tend to the somatization of their feelings, get depressed more easily and are more sensitive to marital problems. In this regard, it was also seen that when women become ill, the couple's relationship often tends to deteriorate, but it does not happen the same when is the man who gets sick. This could be due to the fact that women assume more easily the role of carers and care not to increase the stress while men may not be as sensitive when their partner becomes ill.

Liu, H. & Waite, L. (2014) Bad Marriage, Broken Heart? Age and Gender Differences in the Link between Marital Quality and Cardiovascular Risks among Older Adults. Journal of Health and Social Behavior; 55(4): 403-423.
Orth, K. et. Al. (2000) Marital Stress Worsens Prognosis in Women With Coronary Heart DiseaseThe Stockholm Female Coronary Risk Study. The Journal of the American Medical Association; 284(23): 3008-3014.


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A bad relationship can break your heart, literally
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Jennifer Delgado Suárez

Psicologist by profession and passion, dedicated to to string words together. Discover my Books


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