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Are the love and support of one’s spouse associated with heart health?

Several studies have found that marital stress may increase the risk of heart disease and worsen the prognosis after an acute cardiac event (such as a heart attack). Negative emotions such as hostility, anxiety, or depression have repeatedly been shown to adversely affect heart health as well. This may in part be related to worse self care and an unhealthy lifestyle in those who are under significant emotional stress. Stress may also cause direct damage to certain biological systems, including the cardiovascular system. Although the connection between love and heart health has not been well studied yet, exciting new work is beginning to show that positive thoughts and attitudes (such as sex or family life satisfaction) may have protective effects on health outcomes, including the risk of developing heart disease.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.