People who have heart attacks are more likely to die from them if they are divorced.
This claim was made by researchers from Aston University, who compared data on one million British people. If someone divorces, they are 16 per cent more likely to die from a heart attack than married people and seven per cent more likely to do so than single people.
High blood pressure is also more dangerous for divorced people, as it is nine per cent more likely to be fatal for them than their married peers.
Senior author Rahul Potluri is a Cardiology Lecturer at Aston Medical School in Birmingham. He said the research indicates that “single people do worse than married people and divorcees do worst of all”. His team sought to find out why this was the case and suggested that “the acute stress of divorce in particular” could be to blame.
He explained that people going through a divorce “may have been compliant with their medication while they were married [but are] suddenly under a lot of stress as well as being on their own”. They can “find it difficult to look after themselves” and “lose control of what’s going on”.
People who are going through the emotional turmoil of a divorce can sometimes forget to take their medication and this is particularly problematic for those with heart problems. With the medicine for such conditions “even if you stop it for a couple of days the impact can be really bad” Dr Potluri said.
The full results of this study were presented at the European Society of Cardiology congress in Barcelona.