Women In Unhappy Marriages Can Really Have Broken Hearts

03.05.09 | FL News Team

It stands to reason that wisely choosing a partner for marriage can add to the chances for wedded bliss. For women, it is even more important to do so for their good health.

A new study from from the University of Utah has determined women who are in unhappy marriages are more at risk for high blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease. The research looked at over 300 middle-aged and older couples married for over 20 years.

Women with high levels of stress were found to be more prone to depression and metabolic syndrome. In addition, they leaned more toward symptoms that raise the risk for heart disease such as a thick waist, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and abnormal blood sugar. 

The study author said the research determined high levels of conflict in a marriage were associated with "increased levels of metabolic syndrome for women and not for men." Tim Smith says women in strained marriages also reported greater levels of depression.

According to Smith, being in a bad marriage is on par with having a sedentary life when it comes to the risk for metabolic syndrome.