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Divorce may increase the risk of stroke

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Individuals whose parents divorced during their childhood may want to consider blood pressure and cholesterol testing to determine the health of their heart. A new study has found that these adults are significantly more likely to experience heart complications such as stroke.

The findings have major implications for millions of Americans. With the divorce rate hovering around 50 percent, many children experience parental divorce. This could predispose a large portion of the population to heart health complications.

For the study, a team of researchers from the University of Toronto administered surveys to more than 13,000 individuals. They found that respondents who reported that their parents divorced during their childhood were 2.2 times more likely to have suffered a stroke at some point in their lifetime.

"We were very surprised that the association between parental divorce and stroke remained so strong even after we had adjusted for smoking, obesity, exercise and alcohol consumption," said Esme Fuller-Thomson, who led the investigation.

High cholesterol levels and clogged arteries are among the leading factors that contribute to stroke. Controlling this factor may reduce the chances of experiencing a stroke, even in the face of other contributing factors like divorce.

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