Unhappy marriages can break the heart

A new study says unhappily married people have a higher risk of getting a broken heart. A bad marriage is riskier for older women because of the stress of being in a relationship gone wrong. The study is from Michigan State University. Lead researcher Dr Hui Lui said the stress of an unhappy marriage has a big impact on the health of our heart. Dr Lui said older women have more heart problems because they are more caring. A wife is more likely to care for her sick husband than the other way round. Also, a wife can get stressed if she is sick and cannot look after her husband.

Dr Lui's team studied the health of 1,200 married people aged 57 to 85 over five years. The researchers asked the couples questions about their marriage. They asked if they spent free time with or apart from their partner. They also asked if they could trust their spouse, and whether their spouse asks them to do too many things. The doctors looked at the quality of the marriages and compared this with the number of heart attacks and strokes people had. People in bad marriages were more depressed, more obese and had higher blood pressure.