Many divorced women who lead stressful lives may face 60 per cent more heart disease risk later in life than those who remain in a married relationship, a new study revealed.
Researchers in the University of Texas interviewed around 10,000 middle-aged men and women every two years for a decade as part of a wider health and lifestyle survey, reported the online edition of Daily Mail.
The study discovered that over the 10-year period, more than a 10th of respondents - 1,030 people - developed cardiovascular disease.
Men, in contrast, appear to be physically unaffected by divorce, with marital loss having a negligible effect on their chances of developing heart problems.
The findings, published in the Journal of Marriage and the Family, showed that 11.6 percent of divorced women and 10.7 percent of remarried women had heart disease, compared to 8.7 percent of continuously married women.
At the age of 51, 10.9 percent of divorcees and 9.8 percent of remarried women had heart disease, compared to 7.3 percent of women who remained married.
Nine years later, by the age of 60, 33 percent of divorced women and 31 percent of remarried women had cardiovascular problems; compared to just 22 percent of those who were married and had not suffered a break-up.
The researchers said divorced women are 60 percent more likely to develop heart disease in later life than those who remain in a married relationship.
Even those who find new happiness and remarry are still likely to suffer ill health as a consequence of their previous failed partnership, said the study.
Researchers believe that the emotional stress of a marriage breakdown, coupled with the subsequent social and economic changes, such as moving home and a reduction in income, trigger physical and mental problems in women.
These, they say, can put them at higher risk of suffering cardiovascular disease.
--Indo-Asian News Service