How a rocky relationship can give your heart a bad beating

Being in a stormy relationship is bad for the heart.

Research shows those in a marriage or relationship marred by rows are 34 per cent more likely to suffer from heart disease - including fatal heart attacks - than those in more peaceful partnerships.

It is thought the strain of conflict can damage the heart in a range of ways, from causing fluctuations in heart rate and blood pressure to interfering with blood clotting and the immune system.

The University College London researchers made the link after tracking the health of civil servants for more than 12 years.

At the start of the research, the women, who were aged between 35 and 55, were asked how often they argued with those closest to them. By the end of the study, almost 600 of the 8,500 taking part had had a heart attack or been diagnosed with angina.

Further analysis showed those in the most tumultuous relationships were 34 per cent more likely to have suffered heart problems than those with the most calm partnerships.

Both men and women were equally affected - despite women being generally thought to be more susceptible to relationship ups and downs.

The link held true even when other factors linked to heart disease, such as obesity and smoking, were taken into account, the journal Archives of Internal Medicine reports.

The researchers said bad relationships and marriages were linked to depression and low self-esteem, which can cause changes in heart rate, blood pressure, the immune response, blood clotting and hormones.

Over time, these changes can cause cumulative "wear and tear" on the heart.

Source - Daily Mail

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