Divorce has long been linked with a variety of health effects. Increased stress and anxiety, for example, are common during and immediately following the divorce process, which, in some cases, can evolve into full-blown depression. In other situations, a divorce offers an escape from a bad marriage, allowing a once-trapped spouse to experience a renewed sense of freedom and hope—resulting in overall better personal health. It turns out, however, that divorce could be affecting women differently than it does men, at least in terms of heart health. According to a recent study, women who were divorced had a higher risk of suffering from heart attacks than divorced men, who had to go through a second divorce before their heart attack risk increases.
The symbolism of a broken heart to represent the pain of loss as dates back at least five centuries. Obviously, it has become a very common way to express the emotional impact of grief, usually related to losing a loved one. Whether caused by death, betrayal, romantic rejection, or divorce, heartbreak may have some physiological manifestations, but it is primarily a psychological and emotional reaction. A recent study, however, suggests that for certain demographics, a bad marital situation may contribute to the deterioration of the physical health of the heart as well.