Demanding Relatives May Raise Heart Risks in Middle
THURSDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Dealing with family
worries and demands can increase a person's risk of developing the
painful symptoms of angina, researchers say.
Angina, which is chest pain or discomfort caused when the heart
does not get enough blood, is a symptom of coronary artery
In the new study, Danish researchers tracked the heart health of
4,500 men and women in their 40s and 50s over six years starting in
1999. The participants, none of whom had any heart problems at the
start of the study, also provided details about the quality of
their relationships with a spouse or intimate partner, children,
other relatives, friends and neighbors.
After the six years of follow-up, 9.5 percent of men and 9.1
percent of women had symptoms of angina. Those most likely to
report symptoms were in their 50s, less affluent and depressed.
When the researchers closely examined the participants' personal
relationships, they found evidence of an association between
troublesome relationships and angina risk. Worrisome/demanding
relationships with a partner or child had the greatest impact,
increasing the risk of angina symptoms by more than 3.5 times and
two times, respectively.
Excessive worries/demands from other relatives nearly doubled
the risk, while concerns/demands from friends and neighbors had
The study also found that:
- The greater the amount of worry/demand in a relationship, the
higher the chances that a person would report the constrictive
chest pain symptoms of angina.
- Frequent disagreements with a partner increased the risk by 44
percent, and quarrels with neighbors amplified the risk by 60
percent, but arguments with children, more distant relatives and
friends did not boost the risk of angina.
- The association between relationship issues and angina held
true even after the researchers adjusted for major angina factors
such as smoking and lack of exercise.
- Supportive relationships did not counter the negative impact
that worrisome/demanding interactions had on heart health.
The study is published in the Dec. 23 online edition of the
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
The American Heart Association has more about
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