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Can a divorce increase your risk of having a heart attack?

On Behalf of | Sep 6, 2022 | Divorce

If you are in the throes of divorce, you undoubtedly know how stressful ending a marriage can be. For a variety of reasons, it is advisable to take steps to lower your stress levels. After all, virtually no one can think clearly when stress is out of control.

Unfortunately, if you are a woman, going through a divorce may increase your chances of suffering a heart attack at some point in the future. If you are a man, your risk only increases if you have been through two or more divorces.

How much does heart attack risk increase?

Emotional stress tends to increase blood pressure and heart rate. A spike in either of these can lead to heart disease, so it should not come as much of a surprise that divorce can increase heart attack risk.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, divorced women have a 25% chance of developing heart disease when compared to women who remain in their marriages. For women with multiple divorces, the number jumps to 77%.

What are the symptoms of a heart attack?

If you are struggling to keep your psychological stress under control, you should know exactly how heart attacks usually look. The following symptoms are common:

  • Chest tightness, pain or discomfort
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Numbness or pain in the shoulders or arms

It can be difficult to stay on top of your health when you are dealing with the complexities of a divorce. Ultimately, though, if you are experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack, it is critical to go to the emergency room immediately.