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Divorce Affects Children Physically, Increases Chances of Stroke

Divorce can take its toll on everyone involved: mom, dad, grandparents, and children. For parents, what can often be the most draining is coming up with a shared parenting plan and determining the amount of child support.

For the children, feeling like they have to choose between their parents and then being separated from one can affect their mental and emotional health. Even the act of relocating a child can wear on them emotionally. Research has shown that children who have been through a divorce perform worse than other students and deal with increased emotional problems. But did you also know that divorce can physically affect people?

According to a research study that was presented at a national health and aging conference, children whose parents divorced are at a higher risk of a stroke. There were 13,000 subjects studied.

The findings yielded surprisingly strong results. Individuals coming from homes with divorce were twice more likely to suffer from a stroke than individuals whose parents did not divorce. The individuals in the study are all adults currently, but were children when their parents divorced.

You may be thinking that there are a lot of other factors that could contribute to a risk of a stroke, including genetics, mental health, and even income. While that is true, the data from the study shows that even taking those other factors into account, there is still a strong connection.

So what does this mean? Well, for one it means that adults whose parents are divorced are more likely to suffer a stroke than their counterparts. But the other thing to consider if you are currently going through a divorce is how it will affect your own children. Making their transition into a divorce as smooth as possible could help counter some of the emotional and mental issues that may arise later on.

Source: The LA Times online, “Divorced parents linked to higher risk of stroke,” Melissa Healy, 01 December 2010


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