A new study from the University of Toronto has found that men whose parents were divorced are at increased risk of stroke, compared to men whose parents stayed together. Research found that men whose parents divorced before they turned 18 were three times more likely to suffer a stroke than men whose parents did not divorce. Interestingly, the researchers found no link between parental divorce rates and strokes in women.
« The strong association we found for men between parental divorce and stroke is extremely concerning, » says lead author Esme Fuller-Thomson.
“This is particularly puzzling given the fact that we excluded from our study people who had been exposed to any form of domestic violence or parental addiction. We predicted that the association between the experience of parental divorce and childhood stroke may be due to other factors such as higher risk health behaviors or lower socioeconomic status in men. whose parents had divorced,” says Angela, a recent graduate and co-author from the University of Toronto. Dalton. “However, we statistically controlled for most known risk factors for stroke, including age, race, income and education, adult health behaviors (smoking, exercise, obesity and alcohol consumption ), social support, mental health status, and health care coverage. Even after these adjustments, parental divorce was still associated with a triple risk of stroke in men.”
Although the researchers could not pinpoint the cause of their findings, they hypothesized that parental divorce defined stress responses in young men. These stress reactions determine how men handle difficult situations for the rest of their lives, which could eventually lead to physical consequences that increase stroke risk factors. The researchers also noted the importance of replicating their findings through additional studies.
Strokes and related diseases cause approximately 10% of all deaths worldwide, making it the second leading cause of death worldwide.