Monday, December 05, 2005

Hostile marriages are bad for your health

Conflict-filled relationships are not only detrimental to mental health, but to physical health as well.

While it's been known for a long time that stress affects the body's ability to heal, a recent study has shown that even relatively short periods of stress can be harmful. Researchers at Ohio State University College of Medicine found that if an otherwise healthy married couple argues for as little as 30 minutes, wounds can take an extra day to heal. The healing time was even longer for couples in generally hostile relationships.
[wound researcher] Price comments: “This study was carried out on healthy people – a lot of them young. So imagine the effect on people who are elderly or already immunosuppressed. Some wounds, such as leg ulceration associated with diabetic foot disease, can take months to heal and the implications of stress for these people could be enormous,” she told New Scientist, adding that a psychological component may be required for the treatment of wounds.
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