Researchers have found that divorce can adversely impact the heart health of women.
Substantial research has already shown the negative effects of divorce on physical well-being, 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, while it remained the same if they remarried.
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 how exactly divorce leads to more heart attacks or 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.
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Gerald A. Maggio is an experienced Orange County divorce and family law lawyer and family law attorney located in Irvine, California, serving the Orange County and Riverside areas. Mr. Maggio assists clients with legal issues including divorce, legal separation, divorce mediation, child custody, prenuptial agreements, stepparent adoptions, and other family law issues. Mr. Maggio has practiced law in California since 1999, and founded The Maggio Law Firm in 2005, focusing exclusively on divorce and family law matters.