Marital strife could be a risk factor for heart disease; but only for women. Researchers at the University of Utah studied more than 300 middle-aged couples all of whom had been married for 20 years or more. The couples answered questions about their relationship and mental state and had their waist, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood-sugar measured. Those women who experienced a high level of conflict and discord within their marriage had higher levels of depression, larger waists and higher blood pressure, cholesterol and blood-sugar. Men did not seem to be affected in these ways by marital discord.
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