Family Matters

Taking on family burdens, arguing with relations increases risk of angina

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Taking on your family's problems and responsibilities can increase risk of developing angina, according to a new Danish study.

Since personally rewarding relationships have been shown to improve heart health, Danish researchers wanted to know if the inverse of that was true. Would volatile relationships harm heart health? They followed the heart health of some 4,500 middle-aged individuals, none of which had any heart problems from the onset of the study, beginning in 1999. By 2006, participants were asked to submit information regarding their heart health as well as the quality of personal relationships with spouses, partners, children and other relatives, as well as friends and neighbors.

Respondents were asked what level of demand was placed on them, whether and how often conflict was involved with any of the relationships and the amount of worry they experienced in relation.

Roughly one in 10 men (9.5 percent) and women (9.1 percent) experienced chest pain related to angina. Those who were less affluent, depressed and in their 50s were more likely to suffer with the symptoms. Angina pectoris is severe, constrictive chest pain resulting from a lack of blood and oxygen supply to the heart muscle. It is generally cosidered a precursor to heart disease.

Recurring arguments with partners and spouses upped angina risk by 44 percent, while fights and tussles with neighbors increased that risk by 60 percent.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
December 23, 2010
Last Updated:
December 27, 2010