December 10, 2008
Multigenerational Households Boost Heart Risk In Japanese Women

Living with your in-laws is bad for your heart health.

During the monitoring period, which ended in 2004, 671 people were newly diagnosed with coronary artery disease, 339 died of coronary heart disease, and 6255 died from other causes.

After taking account of factors likely to influence the results, women who lived with a partner, children, and their parents, or their spouse's parents, were two to three times more likely to be diagnosed with coronary heart disease than women who just lived with a partner.

But they were no more likely to die of their disease than their peers who lived with just a partner, suggesting that while living arrangements may boost the risk of diagnosis, it does not affect prognosis, say the authors.

The stress of dealing with so many other people probably boosts stress hormones and inflammation.

But the stress of fulfilling multiple roles as daughter/daughter in law, mother and partner probably has a deleterious effect on heart health, they suggest.

Over the long term, this is likely to boost levels of stress hormones and inflammatory proteins, which in turn may strengthen the effects of other risk factors, such as high blood pressure, or diabetes, they conclude.

Anyone surprised by this result?

I say live wtih a great dog or two. Pet them every day too. That'll reduce stress. Dogs are better than in-laws. What's needed: a study with blood tests to compare people living with dogs to people living with in-laws. I can tell you in advance what the study will show. But we need the research in order to give daughters-in-law and sons-in-law the intellectual ammunition (or plain courage) they need to get out of stressful situations.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2008 December 10 10:30 PM  Aging Cardiovascular Studies

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