Ambivalent hearts may be at higher risk of heart diseases
A new study has found that if a couple feel ambivalent towards their partner they are at an elevated heart disease risk.
According to the study's lead author by Bert Uchino, a psychologist at the University of Utah, the health of both spouses "is interdependent- it isn't what one says or does; it's what both do within the relationship that matters" when it comes to heart health, CBS News reported.
The scientists recruited 136 long-married couples to see what effect those feelings might have on the heart itself over time, the scientists recruited 136 long-married couples.
It was found that 30 percent of individuals were primarily viewed by their spouses as "positive" and 70 percent were primarily viewed with an even mix of positive and negative feelings, which the researchers termed ambivalent.
Cholesterol and blood sugar levels were also measured and lifestyle factors like exercise and smoking were taken into account to further evaluate heart risk.
The researchers found that among couples where both spouses felt ambivalent toward the other, there was significantly more calcium buildup in the arteries. And only in those couples was the increased heart risk detected.
The researchers said that feeling both positively and negatively toward a spouse may affect heart disease risk in large part as a result of the level of support that spouses offer based on relationship quality.
The study was published in the journal Psychological Science.
(Posted on 24-02-2014)