Orange County, CA (Law Firm Newswire) June 11, 2015 – Researchers have found that divorce can adversely impact heart health in women.
Substantial research has already shown the negative effects of divorce on general physical well-being in both sexes, but a recent Duke University study reveals that multiple divorces can increase the risk of heart attacks.
The findings indicate women who divorced at least once were 24 percent more likely to have a heart attack, compared to women who stayed married. Divorcing twice or more raised the chance of a heart attack to 77 percent, while remarrying caused it to go up to 35 percent.
Men’s heart attack risk went up only if they divorced at least twice. It remained the same if they remarried.
Family law attorney Gerald Maggio said, “Divorce is a time of emotional turmoil and high stress levels for everyone involved. Try to shift your attention to securing a sound future for yourself, such as establishing financial security, to boost your ability to face the difficulties of divorce.”
The study, published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, tracked the marital status of around 15,000 adults who married at least once over 18 years. Results remained the same even after researchers took into account age, socioeconomic status and physiological factors, among others.
The study did not examine if or how exactly divorce leads to more heart attacks, nor why there is a difference between risk levels for men and women. However, theories point to the emotional trauma of a dramatic life event or changes in behavior — such as smoking or altered eating habits — as possible causes that can increase levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is linked to poor heart health.
“As you go through the transition period, you can work on cultivating healthy habits, like exercising regularly and getting enough sleep. Reaching out to friends and other family members as sources of support can also help cope with the negative effects of divorce,” said Maggio.
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