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Study finds increased heart attack risk for woman after divorce

No one will deny that, for most, divorce is an intense and emotionally trying process. A relationship that at one time was the most important in the world for you is now to be done away with, ended. It may be ending because you were too young, you did not understand what you really needed in a spouse or that you have grown apart, leading separate lives under the same roof.

Whatever reason, it's over. You might want to just walk away, but first, you have to tie up a few loose ends. Whether it is dividing your finances, separating bank and investment accounts and selling the family home to deciding on the custody arrangements and the details of your parenting plan, joint physical and legal custody or some variation, all of these fine points need to be taken care of before you walk away.

The intense emotions entailed by all of this are real, not figments of your imagination. High-stress can be damaging to your health and a new study suggests stress from a divorce may contribute to a higher risk of heart attack for women how have been divorced.

The researchers found a 24 percent increase in the occurrence of heart attacks among women in the study who had been divorced. A similar increase did not show up in the male portion of the report.

This increase in the percentage risk, while significant, does not mean you will have a heart attack if you divorce, but it serves as a reminder that during the divorce you need to attend to the personal matters of your own health and work to avoid behaviors that could further contribute to the risk of negative health consequences.

The New York Times, "Divorce May Be Bad for the Heart, Especially for Women," Nicholas Bakalar, April 16, 2015

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