Partners can pile on heart stress

EXCESSIVE demands from a partner significantly increase the risk of suffering angina, new research has revealed.

Dealing with worries from children and other family members also adds to the burden, but friends and neighbours pose little risk - unless they are argumentative.

One reason could be that stress levels rise due to demands and worries, although one's own personality may also play a role, researchers said.

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Angina is a pain or discomfort felt in the chest and is usually caused by coronary heart disease. Yesterday's study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, involved more than 4,500 Danish men and women who were free from heart disease at the start of the study in 2000.

A series of questions were asked regarding their health and the quality of their relationships with other people, including levels of demand and degree of worry they experienced. The results showed that demands from a partner increased the risk of angina almost fourfold.

The authors, from the University of Copenhagen, concluded: "Excessive demands and serious worries from significant others seem to be important risk factors for development of angina."