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Can a divorce take a toll on women’s health?

As any Florida resident can attest, going through a divorce can be devastating, both emotionally and financially. However, you might not realize the full emotional impact of a divorce until you are in the middle of one. In fact, the effects can continue for months or years after your divorce, especially if you are female, as some studies have shown, and emotional stress can have physical results.

According to Time, a Duke University study found that the psychological stress of a divorce significantly raised the risk of a heart attack for women, as opposed to minimal risk for men. You may be concerned to learn that women who divorce once are 24 percent more likely to have a heart attack than women who don’t get a divorce. Your heart attack risk may increase to 77 percent if you divorce two or more times. Oppositely, men’s heart attack risk can rise slightly if they divorce more than once, and their risk decreases if they remarry. Even after remarrying, women who have endured a divorce continue to have an elevated risk for a heart attack.

Why is this so, you may wonder? Medical experts believe that the stress hormone cortisol can play a significant role in raising cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar, especially for women, which can adversely affect the heart. This doesn’t mean you should avoid a divorce if you are unhappy in your marriage, however. As you can guess, remaining in a bad marriage can also create unhealthy stress levels, depression and anxiety. You will need to decide whether staying together or ending your marriage will benefit you over the long term and, of course, work with your doctor to address your physical concerns and monitor your health. This information should not replace the advice of a lawyer.

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Schipani and Norman, P.A.
1605 Main Street, Suite 1110
Sarasota, FL 34236

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