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Bad relationships kill

NEED another reason to make up with your partner?

It has been the stuff of great romantic novels and blockbuster films. Doctors have long suspected it. A study of 9 000 British civil servants has at last established it is possibl

e to die of a ‘broken heart’.

The study, reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found the stress and anxiety of hostile, angry relationships can boost the
risk of developing heart disease. Chances of a heart attack or chest pain rose by 34% compared to people on good terms with a spouse or partner.

“A person’s heart condition seems to be influenced by negative intimate relationships,” researchers wrote. “We showed that the negative aspects of close relationships…are associated with coronary heart disease.”

Other research has shown more social connections can mean a healthier life — the “protective effect” — but few studies have looked at how close friendships or marriages affect health, said Roberto De Vogli, an epidemiologist at University College London, who led the study.

The researchers studied civil servants who completed questionnaires about negative aspects of their relationships — which included a spouse or close friend — between 1989 and 1990 or between 1985 and 1988. — Reuter

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