At a study out of Michigan State University shows that there is substantive link between unhealthy marriage and increased risk for heart disease, both in men and women.
This is an idea never before realized as couples don’t really pay attention to the gradual decline of a marriage, often touting simple problems as minor inconveniences.
Study leader Hui Liu explains “Marriage counseling is focused largely on younger couples. But these results show that marital quality is just as important at older ages, even when the couple has been married 40 or 50 years. The effect of marital quality on cardiovascular risk becomes much stronger at older ages. Over time, the stress from a bad marriage may stimulate more, and more intense, cardiovascular responses because of the declining immune function and increasing frailty that typically develop in old age.”
The Michigan State University sociologist continues “Marital quality has a bigger effect on women’s heart health than it does on men’s, possibly because women tend to internalize negative feelings and thus are more likely to feel depressed and develop cardiovascular problems.”
The study indicates that, for women with heart disease, there is a definite link with a decline in marriage quality. For men, though, this was not this case.
Overall, Liu contends that a healthy marriage tends to motivate people to spend more time and energy investing in the relationship and thus those people tend to have healthier marriages and lives: “Married people seem healthier because marriage may promote health. But it’s not that every marriage is better than none. The quality of marriage is really important.”
Source: Diabetes Insider