UCL News


UCL in the News: Heart trouble likely begins at home

9 October 2007

… People whose primary personal relationships have a lot of negative interaction are 34 percent more likely to suffer coronary events.

"A person's heart condition seems to be influenced by negative intimate relationships," wrote Dr Roberto De Vogli [UCL Epidemiology & Public Health] in a study published yesterday in the Archives of Internal Medicine, a journal of the American Medical Association.

De Vogli and his colleagues studied 9,000 British civil servants over a 12-year period and compared how harmonious their primary relationships were.

The elevated risk remained even after age, employment, weight, cholesterol, smoking, work stress and other characteristics were considered, they wrote. …

The De Vogli study suggested that negative relationships affect heart health because of "cumulative 'wear and tear' on organs and tissues." It also noted that people tend to "mentally replay negative encounters more than they replay positive ones" and that "negative relationships activate stronger emotions" such as worrying and anxiety more than less-conflicted relationships.

Cheryl Wetzstein, 'Washington Times'