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The Link Between Divorce and Heart Attacks

A new study released in April 2015 revealed that men and women who experience divorce are more susceptible to heart attacks; and surprisingly, it’s women who run a greater risk. 

The study — from Duke University and reported here by the BBC — reveals that women carry a 24 percent greater likelihood to have a heart attack if they’ve been divorced once and the number goes up to 77 percent if divorced multiple times. Worse, remarrying only slightly improves the odds of avoiding a heart attack. 

The analysis was of 15,827 people and originally published in the journal Circulation. It argued that “chronic stress, linked to divorce, had a long-term impact on the body.” 

Men experienced a 10 percent greater likelihood of divorce-caused heart attack for one time and 30 percent for multiples. Men who remarried tended to bounce back unlike their female counterparts, indicating that men reenter marriage with a great deal more confidence than women. It also indicates that men use marriage as a way of dealing with stress. 

(In both men and women, the likelihood tripled for multiple divorcees.) 

Of the comparative ease with which men deal with divorce and remarriage, an author of the study had this to say. 

“I think this is the most interesting bit in the paper. We joke around here and call it the ‘any-women-will-do orientation’ for men. They’re more comfortable being married than not married and cope with different women being their spouses. First marriages are protective for women and it’s a little dicey after that.”

Of course, you’ll stand a much better chance of avoiding the heart attack risk if you focus on your health and wellness after divorce. Changing the diet to heart-healthy foods, exercising four or five times per week, and taking care of your mental well-being with hobbies, are all great ways of alleviating the stress that most divorcees feel. 

Do you feel like your divorce is causing unhealthy physical side effects for you? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

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