According to the latest study, constant arguments of middle aged people with their spouse, relatives, friends, or neighbors may put them at an increased risk of death.
Dr. Rikke Lund, an associate professor in the department of public health at the University of Copenhagen, said that the research done in the past have shown the benefits of positive social relationships and negative effects of the inadequate support network on the health. Dr. Lund said that certainly there are a few of our contacts that pose a negative effect, and this factor was not properly researched.
How Was the Research Conducted?
Published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the research was conducted by Dr. Lund and her team. They analyzed approximately ten thousand middle-aged people who were in the age group of 36 and 52. The study started from the year 2000 and commenced on 2011. During the study, the researchers examined the day-to-day social relations of the participants, and the causes of their anxiety and clashes in relationships.
The researchers found that at least one out of ten people were stressed because of their spouse and children. One out of twenty found relatives to be more worrisome while one percent found their friends to be the source of their anxiety.
During the course of the study, approximately six percent of men and four percent of women died. It was found that more than fifty percent of deaths were because of cancer. The rest died from accidents, liver diseases, stroke, heart disease, and suicide. After examining the data of the study, the team found that recurrent anxiety caused by children and or the spouse was related to fifty to one hundred percent increased threat of death from all causes.
Also, men were found to have more impact than women because they usually have fewer people in their circle and thus stress affects them to a larger degree. Generally, men regard their partner as close and intimate, and therefore, being worried because of their partner hurt them more than women who usually have a larger circle with more friends to rely on when they are unhappy.
Similarly, people who don’t have a job are more vulnerable to negative relationships as compared to people who are employed. A person is doubly affected who is unemployed as well as experiencing conflict and stress because of a partner. Lund said that these two issues actually intensify each other.
Researchers were astonished to find that stressful relationships with neighbors affect the longevity considerably. Although only one percent of participants were found to have negative relationships with their neighbors, they were at a much greater risk. Lund said one cannot choose their neighbors. Thus, it is important that people know that negative relationship with neighbors can be very damaging.
After examining the data thoroughly, the researchers concluded that learning skills to manage stress and conflicts can help limit early deaths caused due to negative relationships. Lund said that it is essential people should understand the significance of demanding relationships on their health. They should take measures to limit them and take it seriously like any other issues such as consumption of alcohol, smoking, and unhealthy eating.