New study has revealed that divorcees are prone to heart attack compared to those who remain in wedded bliss. They found that those who were divorced at some point faced had a higher heart attack risk than those who stayed married.
Duke University conducted the study among nearly 16,000 US aged 45 to 80. They followed them over two decades, between 1992 and 2010. During the course of the study, all were either married, widowed or roughly one in three people were divorced at least once.
The analysis also showed that women were worst affected. The team found that depression symptoms partly account for the link between divorce and heart attack risk in women. According to the researches, remarriage is not the remedy as the risk barely gets reduced.
The researchers found that 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 10% extra risk for one divorce and 30% increase after multiple divorces.
The study argued that chronic stress, linked to divorce causes a long-term impact on the body, resulting in heart attack. The British Heart Foundation called for more research before divorce is classed as a major heart risk.
Prof. Linda George, one of the researchers said, “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 added that sex difference is also found in depression. Therefore divorce is a greater psychological burden for women.