Emotions & heart health

Did you know that emotional problems in childhood can alter our health in adulthood? Now recent research has suggested there is a link between heart disease in middle age and our emotional behaviour traits in children, more so in women.

The study looked at some 3,600 people who were tracked over a 30-year period starting from around the age of 25. Participants were put into three categories based on the level of difficulty they encountered while growing up, according to their answers to questions about abuse, neglect and the general atmosphere they experienced at home.

The study’s authors said that those people exposed to the highest levels of adversity in their childhood family environment, were 50 percent more likely to have a heart disease event during the 30-year follow-up period.

It is generally accepted that women are more emotional than men and are therefore likely to be more emotionally honest than men. Although women generally are more open to discussing their issues than men, men are less likely to make a fuss about issues and will therefore just get on with things.

Women tend to have to resolve their issues before they can move on and it may be that which impacts their health. If emotions have an impact on our health in general, it stands to reason that putting ourselves under constant stress will alter more than just our immune system.

Researchers have several theories but haven’t been able to pinpoint the reason for the connection.

Source: https://www.heart.org

24 Apr, 2013

6 thoughts on “Emotions & heart health

  1. This result doesn’t surprise me at all. We will all carry ‘baggage’ accumulated in our formative years into adulthood and the link between emotional health and physical well being is increasingly being accepted.

    The mainstream medical profession in the UK has certainly come round in recent years to believing in stress and its link to poor health. The findings of a direct link to heart health is fascinating.

    I have to agree us men are not the best at addressing emotions and emotional issues.

    1. Yes the result doesn’t surprise me at all either. I believe the link has always been there.

      We’re just now becoming more aware, through our own personal growth and the link we make ourselves and through the media.

  2. I can see it. As children with stress, we will carry the stress on as we grow up, especially if we don’t know how to handle the stress. Women tend to do more and worry more than men.

    Men have the attitude of what ever will be will be. They don’t take on the responsibilities that women do. Women are supposed to take care of the home and also work. They are more responsible for the children too.

    Of course there are some men that do this, but they have a different mentality than women when it comes to these types of responsibilities. Again its a more ‘don’t worry about it’ type of response. That’s why I think heart disease affects women more.

    1. Women can have more responsibility than men as you say Lisa when it comes down to parental responsibility with children, but women are better at discussing things they’re not happy and men won’t.

      With all of this stemming from stress in childhood, it will be great to see how these initial findings work out. If as adults more women talk about things than men, you would think more men than women would be affected.

      Perhaps boys growing up are more open than girls. Just a thought.

  3. Ilana I was thinking the same thing too. That more men would be affected because we do not release emotional energy in the manner that women do. We tend to put a cap on things and move on.

    Contrary to the study, I’ve heard all my life that women live longer because they release emotion more freely, whereas men do not. Yet for both sexes, it is reasonable to assume that emotional problems caused by childhood trauma, can alter health in adult years.

    1. I think you’re right Tim, it is reasonable to assume that emotional problems caused by childhood trauma can alter health in both sexes in their adult years.

      It stands to reason that if we don’t deal with our emotions we will struggle to stay well in more ways than we think and this is what the study is beginning to show.

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