The goal of the study was to obtain a measure of how negative close relationships impacted the development of and risk of heart disease over the course of the study. Researchers found that certain groups of people are more likely than others to experience negative close relationships. These included: younger participants, women, men whose jobs were considered lower economic, and persons who were never married. In addition, researchers also found that some relationships (spouse/partner, high confidence/emotional/practical support, and single due to divorce, separation or death of spouse) had a higher risk for cardiac events if the relationship was negative.
According to study findings, women and participants with lower social standing were more apt to have negative close relationships. Overall, study results showed that participants whose first close personal relationship was negative were at a greater risk of a cardiac event, including a fatal cardiac event, than their counterparts whose close relationships were not negative by. While additional studies are certain to follow, it does appear that some relationships, particularly those closest to us, can be toxic to our heart health if that relationship is negative.
Until next time, here’s wishing you a healthy heart.
Roberto De Vogli, PhD, MPH; Tarani Chandola, DPhil; Michael Gideon Marmot, PhD, FRCP; Negative Aspects of Close Relationships and Heart Disease, Arch Intern Med. 2007; 167(18): 1951-1957, http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/167/18/1951?maxtoshow=&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=negative+emotions+and+heart+disease&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&resourcetype=HWCIT