Constant arguing with family and friends may do a number on your physical health. According to a new Danish study, frequent conflicts with people in your social circle may put you two to three times at higher risk for dying during middle age.
Findings stem from quizzes completed by nearly 10,000 people aged 36 to 52. These subjects were tracked from 2000 to 2011. Investigators particularly looked at which participants were in conflict with their family members, partners, friends, neighbors and other people in their social network. The frequency of this type of stress was also noted.
During this time, 4 percent of women and 6 percent of men died. Cancer, heart disease, liver disease, accidents and suicide were the main causes. After analyzing the data, researchers reported that consistent demands and worries put on participants by family and friends represented a real health risk.
Men and people who were unemployed were particularly at risk.
“Having an argument every now and then is fine, but having it all the time seems dangerous,” researcher Rikke Lund of the University of Copenhagen told LiveScience.
According to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress has been linked to heart disease, depression, fatigue, anxiety disorders and more. Short-term stress, on the other hand, may actually improve cognitive performance.
The Danish study was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.