According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services news release, a British study has shown that fighting with the ones you loved might very well cause you heart ache, literally.
A British study has linked cardiovascular disease to constant bickering with those people who are closest to you. Researchers did account for other heart risk factors, such as depression or smoking, and when studying negative close relationships it brought the risk of coronary problems by a third. The study included around 9,000 British civil servants who filled out a questionnaire that asked about four close relationships. Instead of asking about the quantity of the relationship, the study asked about the kind of interaction that they had, plus the emotional and social support they had received from that person.
The participants were followed for more than 12 years. The increased heart risk that was found appeared to be unrelated to either the participant’s sex or social position in the community. It also was not related to the social support or the emotional support that was given to those participating. The researcher’s did write that “it is possible that negative aspects of close relationships are more important for the health of individuals because of the power of negative close relationships to activate stronger emotions (worrying and anxiety) and the consequent physiological effects.”
It is stated that the cardiovascular impact of the negative relationship can be helped with counseling as well as training to decrease the risk of heart problems. The impact of stressing the heart out is assumed to have came from the increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system. The difference between this study and other studies that have come to the same conclusion is that the participants in the questionnaire specifically defined the closeness of the relationship.
Carol Shively, a psychologist who is a Professor of Pathology at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C states regarding the study, “This captures much more closely what is the importance of social relationships to ourselves,” she also goes to add, “That importance has to do with the emotional quality as perceived by the person who is recording the relationship.”
To learn more about the study in depth, you can take a look at the October 8th issue of Archives of Internal Medicine where the study has recently been published.
SOURCE : Family Infighting Hurts the Heart
SOURCE : Archives of Internal Medicine