Stress and healing in marriage
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Dec. 19, 2005
The stress a typical married couple feels during an ordinary half-hour argument is enough to slow their bodies' ability to heal from wounds by at least one day, according to a study in the December Archives of General Psychiatry.
If the couple's relationship is routinely hostile, the delay in healing can be even longer, said the researchers, Jan-Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD, a professor of psychiatry and psychology at Ohio State University and Ronald Glaser, PhD, professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics, also at Ohio State.
They have been studying how stress can affect human immunity for three decades. "We have enough data now from all of our past studies to basically suggest that hospitals need to modify existing practices in ways that will reduce stress prior to surgery," Dr. Ronald Glaser said.
Meanwhile, a separate study in the November Health Psychology showed that stress can raise a person's LDL cholesterol levels. Researchers from University College in London, England, studied the changes in cholesterol levels of 199 healthy men and women over a three years.
They found that individuals with larger stress responses were three times more likely to also have higher levels of LDL cholesterol.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/12/19/hlbf1219.htm.