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Experts say heart health tied to divorce

It often feels as though every week scientists reveal that they have discovered new risk factors or toxic substances that are contributing factors to various medical conditions. With this seemingly endless list of things to avoid, people in New York can understandably feel conflicted about how to act in certain situations. Although recent data suggests that some people who go through a divorce could be at higher risk for heart disease, experts were quick to point out that that other problems factors could be to blame. 

While divorce itself does not necessarily cause individuals to suffer from heart attacks, a 20-year study of 16,000 people found that divorcees were at a higher risk for suffering from cardiac arrest. The increased risk was notably higher among divorced women. Even after remarrying, the risk for women did not decrease. Conversely, men were not significantly impacted until they experienced a second divorce, but also improved if they married for a third time. 

The higher risk for women could be related to an increase in depression symptoms. Emotional stress often accompanies both divorce and depression, and when the financial impact -- another common stressor during divorce -- is added in, heart health can suffer. Many people going through a divorce also tend to abandon healthy habits, like eating well or exercising, which can negatively impact the heart's overall health.

Researchers explained that the results of this study could better aid doctors caring for patients who might be at an elevated risk of suffering a heart attack or other heart-related health issues. Nothing within the study appeared to imply that men and women should avoid divorce in order to preserve a lower risk of a heart attack. Instead. Instead, those in New York who are ready to end their marriage may want to make sure that they are giving themselves the same attention to detail as they are when negotiating an agreeable divorce settlement.

Source: CBS News, "Divorce could be bad for your heart in more ways than one", Amy Norton, April 15, 2015

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