Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Study Ties Divorce to Higher Chance of Heart Attack


Remarriage, at least for women, did not lower risk

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Amy Norton

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, April 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- People who divorce face a higher risk of suffering a heart attack than those who remain in wedded bliss, but remarriage may not be the remedy, at least not for women, a new study suggests.

Duke University researchers found that among nearly 16,000 U.S. adults followed over two decades, those who were divorced at some point had a higher heart attack risk than those who stayed married.

The connection seemed stronger among women, but there was no evidence that a second marriage improved their situation. Women who remarried were still 35 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack than those who stayed with their first husband.

The study, published April 14 in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality Outcomes, does not prove that divorce causes a person's heart trouble. There could be other reasons for the association, experts said.

On the other hand, there are also reasons divorce could affect some people's heart health, said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiovascular medicine and science at the University of California, Los Angeles.

For one, there's the stress, both emotional and financial, noted Fonarow, who was not involved in the study.

Beyond that, he said, once a marriage ends, some people might let go of healthy habits, such as eating a balanced diet, not smoking and getting regular medical checkups.

Regardless of the explanation for the findings, Fonarow suggested that people be aware there's a link between divorce and the heart's well-being.

"They may want to assess and take proactive steps to improve their cardiovascular health," he said.

Lead researcher Matthew Dupre agreed.

"For example, divorced women -- particularly those who go through multiple divorces -- may benefit from additional screening or treatment for depression," said Dupre, an associate professor of community and family medicine at Duke University, in Durham, N.C.

That's because his team found that depression symptoms seemed to partly account for the link between divorce and heart attack risk in women.

The findings are based on almost 16,000 U.S. adults aged 45 to 80, who were followed from 1992 to 2010. At the outset, all were either married, widowed or had gone through at least one divorce.

source : Study Ties Divorce to Higher Chance of Heart Attack

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