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Divorce can lead to heart health troubles for women

Most people understand that moving beyond a broken marriage is stressful. Even in cases where divorce is clearly the best option, the end of a marriage is always difficult to navigate. In some cases, the stress surrounding divorce is severe and can lead to a number of health concerns. Recent research suggests that the ill effects of a divorce may be far more pronounced than once thought. For Connecticut women who are preparing to divorce, this information may be of particular interest.

The study, conducted by Duke University, looked at data collected over an 18-year period. This range gave researchers the ability to track the marital status of participants and note the changes in their health over time. The study revealed a trend in which women who divorce have much higher rates of heart attacks than men or women who remain married.

In fact, women who went through one divorce during the 18-year period were 24 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who remained married. For women who went through two or more divorces, the risk level climbed to a staggering 77 percent. Although this particular study did not look at the reasons behind the elevated risk of heart attack following divorce, a great deal of research tells us that high levels of stress is a serious negative factor in heart health. 

For women in Connecticut who are preparing to move forward with divorce, this research underscores the importance of taking care of one's health during such a challenging time. Meeting with a physician can help determine one's current level of heart health and give women the information needed to make improvements. One way to reduce the stress associated with divorce is to take an active role in the legal process. By making a list of questions for the divorce attorney, providing all requested documentation in a timely manner, and making important decisions as they arise, a woman can gain a sense of control over the outcome of the divorce and ease the stress on her heart.

Source: Time, "What Divorce Does to Women???s Heart Health", Alice Park, April 14, 2015

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