The Effects of Marital Stress

Essay by littlebitgirl April 2004

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The Effects of Marital Stress

Stress is on everyone's mind. It is not just on the mind, but the body as well. What causes stress? Stress comes from many different sources. Whether it comes from the workplace or home life, it can lead to many other serious problems. Marriages, and our bodies, can be severely affected by stress.

Stress can devastate a marriage and lead to severe complications, such as health issues. Many things happen inside the body when it is faced with a stressful situation. Marital stress worsens the prognosis in women with coronary heart disease (Orth-Gomer, 2000). Orth-Gomer identified 292 women, 187 that were married or living with a male partner, whose ages ranged from 30 to 65 and were hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction or unstable angina pectoris. This identification was executed by using the Stockholm Female Coronary Risk Study. Results ranged from mild or absent (0 to 1) to severe (greater than 3).

The women were studied for an average of five years. Their scores ranged from 0 to 14, with a median of 3. The odds ratio for recurrent coronary events among women with severe, compared with mild or absent, marital stress averaged 2.92 after adjustments. In other words, women need loving, supporting husbands who understand a wife's stressful role in today's family. Though the research provided does not prove this, I have no doubt that marital stress also is a contributing cause of coronary disease in women, besides aggravating it.

Not only does marital stress contribute to heart disease in women, but also contributes to Type 2 diabetes. An investigation was done between marital stress and the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the San Antonio Heart Study. Between the years of 1984 and 1988, 1,887 married, non-diabetic Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic whites between...