Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Marriage and healthy hearts: Correlation between unhappy marital interactions, cardiovascular disease risk

Date:
June 25, 2014
Source:
University of Pittsburgh
Summary:
The affairs of the heart may actually affect the affairs of the heart in ways previously not understood. "Growing evidence suggests that the quality and patterns of one's social relationships may be linked with a variety of health outcomes, including heart disease," says one researcher.

The affairs of the heart may actually affect the affairs of the heart in ways previously not understood.

"Growing evidence suggests that the quality and patterns of one's social relationships may be linked with a variety of health outcomes, including heart disease," says Thomas Kamarck, professor of psychology and Biological and Health Program Chair in the University of Pittsburgh Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. He is an author of a new study that correlates unhappy marital interaction with thicker carotid arteries and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

"The contribution of this study is in showing that these sorts of links may be observed even during the earliest stages of plaque development [in the carotid artery]," Kamarck continues, "and that these observations may be rooted not just in the way that we evaluate our relationships in general but in the quality of specific social interactions with our partners as they unfold during our daily lives."

Nataria Joseph, who recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship under Kamarck, is the lead author of the paper, published this month in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. Given the size of the effect in the study and the relationship between carotid artery plaque and disease, Joseph's findings, made at Pitt, indicate that those with marital interactions light on the positive may have an 8.5 percent greater risk of suffering heart attack or stroke than those with a surfeit of good feelings.

Joseph, who is now at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, says, "These findings may have wider implications. It's another bit of support for the thought that marital or serious romantic relationships play a significant role in overall health. Biological, psychological, and social processes all interact to determine physical health."

The study included 281 healthy, employed, middle-aged adults who were married or living with a partner in a marital-like relationship. Their interactions were monitored hourly over the course of four days, with the partners rating their interactions as positive or negative.

Carotid artery thickness was also measured. Those partners reporting more negative interactions were found to have thicker carotids. Joseph says that these associations could not be accounted for by other behavioral or biological risk factors and were also independent of marital interaction frequency, nonmarital social interaction, or personality factors. The findings were consistent across age, sex, race, and education level.

There are limitations to the study, Joseph says, because it is a cross-sectional study with all the data collected at one point in time. Causality, therefore, has not been proven, though a strong correlation has been established.

"What it does show," she says, "is that health care providers should look at relationships as a point of assessment. They are likely to promote health or place health at risk."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pittsburgh. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nataria Tennille Joseph, Thomas W. Kamarck, Matthew F. Muldoon, Stephen B. Manuck. Daily Marital Interaction Quality and Carotid Artery Intima-Medial Thickness in Healthy Middle-Aged Adults. Psychosomatic Medicine, 2014; 76 (5): 347 DOI: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000071

Cite This Page:

University of Pittsburgh. "Marriage and healthy hearts: Correlation between unhappy marital interactions, cardiovascular disease risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140625132625.htm>.
University of Pittsburgh. (2014, June 25). Marriage and healthy hearts: Correlation between unhappy marital interactions, cardiovascular disease risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140625132625.htm
University of Pittsburgh. "Marriage and healthy hearts: Correlation between unhappy marital interactions, cardiovascular disease risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140625132625.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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