Tuesday, April 04, 2006

More Fun Facts or Why You Should Play Nice

I found this in the Providence Sunday Journal Lifebeat section this week (April 2). Just further proves the points made in previous blogs.

Spouses try a little tenderness
You care about your heart, so you don't smoke and you exercise. Maybe you should also lay off the negativity and controlling comments when you talk to your spouse. A three-year study of older married couples conducted by the University of Utah found a link between the quality of relationships and atherosclerosis, or the narrowing of the arteries that carry blood to the heart.

In the study, researchers evaluated videotapes of dialogue between 150 married couples, (At least one member of each couple was between 60 and 70 years of age) Sitting across a table from each other, the couples were asked to talk about a subject of disagreement in their marriage, be it money, in-laws, children or household duties.

Two days later, husband and wife underwent a CT scan of the chest to determine his or her level of coronary artery blockage. The findings differed according to gender. For a woman, hostility in the marital relationship -whether on her part or her husband's - was associated with a build-up of plaque in the coronary arteries. For a man, the important factor was not hostility but control. Men who were controlling toward their wife, or had a controlling spouse, were more likely to have atherosclerosis.

"A low-quality relationship is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease," concludes study co-author Tim Smith. However, it appears that men and women focus on different factors in gauging a relationship's "quality."

Moral of the story? Play nice-live longer!