November 22, 2022 – Reducing stress in general is linked to better heart health. Now, a large study shows that less stressful and happier marriages are associated with better recovery in people who have had a heart attack at a relatively young age — under 55.
The researchers found that those with the most stressful marriages were more likely to have frequent chest pain or be readmitted to the hospital in the year after a heart attack.
The study found that people who had a stressful marriage recovered worse after a heart attack compared to other heart attack survivors of the same age, gender, education and income level, as well as employment and insurance status.
Says Singjing Zhou, PhD student at Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, Connecticut. “Managing personal stress may be just as important as managing other clinical risk factors” such as blood pressure, for example, “during the recovery process.”
The general advice for everyone is to be aware of whether you have common risk factors for heart disease including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity or smoking, and for young people to be aware of a family history of heart disease, especially premature ones, he says. Chu An heart disease.
“Patients should know there is a link between marital stress and delayed recovery” from heart attacks, says American Heart Association spokesperson. Nieca Goldberg, MD, who was not involved in this research.
“If they are experiencing marital stress, they should share the information with their doctor and discuss ways to get a referral to therapists and cardiac rehabilitation,” Goldberg says, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at New York University Grossman School of Medicine and Medical Director of Atria New York.
“My last thought is that women are often told [by doctors] She says their heart symptoms are caused by stress. “Now we know that stress affects physical health and is no longer an excuse but a contributing factor to our physical health.”
a Lots of studies Zhou stated that psychological stress is linked to worse heart health outcomes.
However, little was known about the impact of a stressful marriage on younger heart attack survivors.
Researchers analyzed data from participants in a study known as Variation in Recovery: The Role of Gender in Outcomes of Young AMI Patients (VIRGO).
This included 1,593 adults – 1,020 women – who received treatment at 103 hospitals in 30 US states. Most heart attack survivors were married and 8% were married/living with a partner.
Most (90%) were between the ages of 40 and 55, the remainder being younger. Their average age was 47. Three-quarters of them were white, 13% were black, and 7% were Hispanic.
A month after the heart attack, they answered 17 questions on the Stockholm Marital Stress Scale about the quality of their emotional and sexual relationships with their spouses/partners. Then, one year after the heart attack, patients answered several questionnaires about their health.
After a year, those who reported severe marital stress had significantly worse scores for physical health, mental health, general quality of life, and quality of life related to heart health, compared with patients with moderate or not moderate marital stress.
The most stressful heart attack survivors in a marriage were 49% more likely to report recurrent chest pain/angina pectoris and 45% more likely to be hospitalized for any reason, compared with patients without moderate stress.
Stady Limitations include that the results are based on a self-reported questionnaire.
“Additional stresses beyond marital stress, such as financial stress or work stress, may play a role in young people’s recovery, and the interaction between these factors requires further research,” Chu says.
The researchers will present their findings at the American Heart Association (AHA) 2022 Scientific Sessions, which will be held in Chicago this weekend.
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