How your marriage affects heart attack recovery: 6 things to know

A stressful marriage could negatively impact heart attack recovery, particularly for younger adults, according to the American Heart Association.

A new study compared recovery one year after a heart attack with self-reported marital stress. Participants reporting severe marital stress were 67 percent more likely to report chest pains than people with mild or no marital stress, according to an Oct. 31 news release. 

About 1,590 participants were treated for a heart attack at 103 U.S. hospitals and also enrolled in another study between 2008 and 2012. All participants were either married or in a committed relationship.

The analysis findings: 

  • Marital stress among adults aged 18 to 55 was linked to worse recovery after a heart attack compared to those with less stress.
  • Participants reporting severe stress levels scored 1.6 points lower in physical health and 2.6 points lower in mental health on a 12-point scale. 
  • Those reporting severe stress levels reported almost 5 points lower overall quality of life.
  • Participants reporting severe marital stress were 67 percent more likely to report chest pains than people with mild or no marital stress. 
  • The likelihood of being readmitted to the hospital for any cause increased by more than 50 percent among those reporting severe marital stress. 
  • Women reported severe marital stress at a rate of 4 out of 10 versus 3 out of 10 men. 

"Our findings support that stress experienced in one’s everyday life, such as marital stress, may impact young adults' recovery after a heart attack. However, additional stressors beyond marital stress, such as financial strain or work stress, may also play a role in young adults' recovery, and the interaction between these factors require further research," said lead author and Yale School of Public Health PhD candidate Cenjing Zhu.

Copyright © 2022 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.

 

Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars