No, it's not your once-a-week date night at a steakhouse. According to a new study in the journal Psychological Science, people who feel less supported by their spouse have higher levels of coronary artery calcification, or hardened arteries that restrict blood flow to the heart. So your less-than-helpful husband might be breaking your heartÃ¢â‚¬Â¦literally.
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Researchers looked at 136 married couples and measured their cardiovascular health through coronary artery scans. Then they asked each person individually about their relationship satisfaction, using a survey that focused on how helpful or upsetting their partner was in times when they needed support. Interestingly, they found the highest level of artery calcification when both partners viewed each other as ambivalentÃ¢â‚¬”that is, sometimes supportive and sometimes not. And here's the clincher: 70 percent of people said their partner was ambivalent. Major problem!
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So why is support crucial for heart health? The researchers aren't sure, though they suggest it may be that couples who feel they aren't getting enough support have increased stress, which can influence your cardiovascular disease risk. And though they can't be sure that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a lack of support that's causing the calcification, it's definitely a scary association. So let's consider this a reminder to make sure you're being a supportive partnerÃ¢â‚¬”and that your sweetie is doing the same. Your bond and your ticker will thank you.
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