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Do elderly divorcee face increased heart attack risks?

A lot of North Carolina residents are waking up to the fact that their marriages are broken late in life. Well into their retirement years, these individuals are deciding to leave their marriages to bring more happiness and well-being into their lives. However, research shows how important it is that elderly spouses divorce in a way that is as peaceful and stress-free as possible -- and that newly divorced ex-spouses must take every opportunity to safeguard their health.

According to Duke University researchers, men and women who are unmarried have a 73 percent higher chance of dying following a heart attack. The researchers suspect that this is because the heart attack patients who are single do not have doting spouses who tell them to get to the doctor for checkups and encourage them to avoid cigarettes, alcohol and other bad habits. Even divorcee who remarry will not likely benefit from the "social control" exerted by a spouse of multiple decades.

Some might call it "nagging," and excessive nagging is precisely the reason why many couples choose to part ways. However, there are some benefits to this often-negative behavior. Therefore, newly divorced "gray" singles, are encouraged to watch their diet, adopt healthy behaviors, take their medication on time, and regularly visit the doctor for health checkups.

Another way of reducing heart attack risks is to keep stress to a minimum -- especially during the divorce process -- which can be one of the most high-stress and emotionally taxing experiences a North Carolina resident can experience. By talking with a family law attorney about strategies for a peaceful divorce, however, elderly spouses will have a better chance of navigating the dissolution of their marriages with ease.

Source:, "Why divorcing late in life raises heart attack risk," Victoria Allen, Oct. 23, 2016