Shouldering family demands and worries bumps up angina risk

Dec 23, 2010

Shouldering family demands and worries seems to increase the risk of angina, the precursor to coronary artery disease, reveals research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Previous research has indicated that rewarding are a boost for heart health, so the authors wanted to know if the reverse might also be true.

They tracked the heart health of more than 4,500 randomly selected men and women in their 40s and 50s for six years. None had any heart problems at the start of the study in 1999.

In 2006 all participants were asked to provide information on their heart health and on the quality of their personal relationships with an intimate partner, children, other relatives, friends and neighbours.

For each category of relationship, they were specifically asked what level of demand was placed on them, degree of worry they experienced, or whether they came into conflict with those individuals - and how often.

Similarly, they were also asked how much support - both practical and emotional - individuals in these five categories provided them, and how often they did so.

The results showed that after six years almost one in 10 of both men and women (9.5% and 9.1%, respectively) had the constrictive chest pain symptoms of angina.

Unsurprisingly, those in their 50s were more likely to report angina symptoms, as were those who were less affluent and those who were depressed.

But when the different categories of personal relationships were assessed, it became clear that there was evidence of a link between fraught relationships and the risk of angina across all five categories.

The most substantial risks were for worrisome/demanding relationships with a partner or child, where the risk of angina was more than 3.5 times and twice as likely, respectively.

Excessive worries/demands from other family members were associated with an almost doubling of risk, while those from friends and neighbours posed a negligible risk.

And the higher the degree of worry/demand in a relationship, the higher was the likelihood of reporting angina symptoms.

While arguments with children, friends, and more distant relatives did not increase the risk of , frequent arguments with a partner boosted the risk by 44%, while those with a neighbour increased it by 60%.

The results held true even after adjustment for other influential factors, such as smoking and lack of exercise. And they indicated that supportive relationships did not counter the negative effects on heart health of worrisome or demanding relationships.

Explore further: US Ebola patient's health improves again

Related Stories

Unexplained chest pain can be due to stress

Feb 09, 2009

Each year, many people seek emergency treatment for unexplained chest pains. A thesis from the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, indicates several common factors among those affected, including stress ...

Recommended for you

US Ebola patient's health improves again

55 minutes ago

An American healthcare worker who contracted the dangerous Ebola virus while working in Sierra Leone has improved and is now listed in fair condition, hospital officials said Monday.

Endoscopes linked to outbreak of drug-resistant E. coli

1 hour ago

An outbreak of a novel Escherichia coli (E. coli) strain resistant to antibiotics has been linked to contaminated endoscopes in a Washington state hospital. The study indicates that industry standard clea ...

Fighting back against superbugs

3 hours ago

Antibiotics—and antibiotic resistance—are in the news once again, with announcements by McDonald's and Costco that they will eliminate antibiotics that are important to human medicine from use in the ...

Harnessing the power of microbes as therapeutics

4 hours ago

A new report recently released by the American Academy of Microbiology discusses how specific microbes can be modified to enhance their therapeutic potential for treating human diseases such as cancer and antibiotic resistant ...

New genetic link found for alcohol-related liver cirrhosis

4 hours ago

In most people, any liver damage that might occur from drinking alcohol is reversible. However, in 25 to 30 percent of alcoholics what begins as accumulation of fat in the liver progresses to inflammation, fibrosis and ultimately ...

Could camel antibodies protect humans from MERS?

4 hours ago

Antibodies from dromedary camels protected uninfected mice from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and helped infected mice expunge the disease, according to a study published online March 18th in the ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.