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Bad marriages harm women's health
[Posted: Thu 05/03/2009 by Deborah Condon www.irishhealth.com]
When it comes to health, women appear to feel the strain of a bad marriage more than men, the results of new research indicate.
A US team found that while both men and women who are in strained marriages are more likely to feel depressed, women are more likely to also suffer high blood pressure, obesity and other signs of metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome refers to a group of conditions including obesity, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels and resistance to insulin, which combine to increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
“We hypothesised that negative aspects of marriages like arguing and being angry would be associated with higher levels of metabolic syndrome,” explained researcher, Nancy Henry of the University of Utah.
The team further hypothesised that this link would be at least partly due to depressive symptoms.
“In other words, those who reported experiencing more conflict, hostility and disagreement with their spouses would be more depressed, which in turn would be associated with a higher risk of heart disease due to metabolic syndrome. We found this was true for wives in this study, but not husbands,” Ms Henry said.
The research involved over 270 couples who had been married for an average of 20 years.
“We know from previous research that women are more sensitive and responsive to relationship problems than men. The results of this study suggest those problems could harm their health. Improving aspects of intimate relationships might help your emotional and physical wellbeing,” Ms Henry said.
Details of these findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychomatic Society in Chicago.
For more information on depression, see...http://www.irishhealth.com/clin/depression/index.html
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