Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Frequent arguments with family, friends linked to doubling in death risk in middle age

Date:
May 8, 2014
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Frequent arguments with partners, relatives, or neighbors may boost the risk of death from any cause in middle age, suggests research. Men and those not in work seemed to be the most vulnerable, the findings indicate. Constant arguing seemed to be the most harmful for health. The evidence also suggests that supportive social networks and strong relationships are good for general health and wellbeing.

While constant arguing seemed to be the most harmful for health generally, men seemed to be particularly vulnerable to the worries and demands generated by their female partners.
Credit: DragonImages / Fotolia

Frequent arguments with partners, relatives, or neighbors may boost the risk of death from any cause in middle age, suggests research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Related Articles


Men and those not in work seemed to be the most vulnerable, the findings indicate.

The evidence suggests that supportive social networks and strong relationships are good for general health and wellbeing, but the authors wanted to find out if the stressors inherent in family relationships and friendships had any impact on the risk of death from any cause.

They therefore quizzed almost 10,000 men and women aged 36 to 52 about their everyday social relationships. All the participants were already taking part in the Danish Longitudinal Study on Work, Unemployment and Health.

The researchers focused particularly on who, among partners, children, other relatives, friends and neighbors, made excess demands, prompted worries, or was a source of conflict, and how often these arose. They also considered whether having a job made any difference.

The health of the study participants was tracked from 2000 to the end of 2011, using data from the Danish Cause of Death Registry.

Between 2000 and 2011, 196 women (4%) and 226 men (6%) died. Almost half the deaths were from cancer, while heart disease/stroke, liver disease, and accidents and suicide made up the rest.

Around one in 10 study participants said that their partner or children were a frequent or constant source of excess demands and worries; around one in 20 (6%) and a further 2% claimed this for relatives and friends, respectively.

Similarly, 6% had frequent arguments with their partner or children, 2% with other relatives, and 1% with friends or neighbors.

After taking account of a range of influential factors, including gender, marital status, long term conditions, depressive symptoms, available emotional support, and social class, as defined by job title, the analysis indicated that frequent worries or demands generated by partners and/or children were linked to a 50%-100% increased risk of death from all causes.

But constant arguing seemed to be the most harmful for health.

Frequent arguments/conflicts with anyone in the social circle -- ranging from partners and relatives to friends and neighbors -- were associated with a doubling to tripling in the risk of death from any cause compared with participants who said these incidents were rare.

Being out of work seemed to amplify the negative impact of social relationship stressors. Those who were unemployed were at significantly greater risk of death from any cause than those who were exposed to similar stressors but had a job.

And men seemed to be particularly vulnerable to the worries and demands generated by their female partners, with a higher risk of death than that normally associated with being a man or with this particular relationship stressor.

The authors accept that personality may have a role in how people perceive, generate, and respond to stress, and so may influence an individual's risk of an early death.

But they conclude that skills in conflict management may help to curb premature deaths associated with social relationship stressors.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R. Lund, U. Christensen, C. J. Nilsson, M. Kriegbaum, N. Hulvej Rod. Stressful social relations and mortality: a prospective cohort study. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 2014; DOI: 10.1136/jech-2013-203675

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Frequent arguments with family, friends linked to doubling in death risk in middle age." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140508192502.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2014, May 8). Frequent arguments with family, friends linked to doubling in death risk in middle age. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140508192502.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Frequent arguments with family, friends linked to doubling in death risk in middle age." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140508192502.htm (accessed April 18, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Common Pain Reliever Might Dull Your Emotions

Common Pain Reliever Might Dull Your Emotions

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2015) Each week, millions of Americans take acetaminophen to dull minor aches and pains. Now researchers say it might blunt life&apos;s highs and lows, too. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins