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Men — But Not Women — From Divorced Families More at Risk for Stroke

man being looked at by a doctor
Adam Berry, Getty Images

There are all sorts of repercussions that can stem from being the product of a broken home, and now we can add stroke to the list. A new study suggests that men with divorced parents could be more susceptible to brain attacks than men from intact families.

The study recently published in the International Journal of Stroke indicates that men from divorced families are three times more likely to suffer from a stroke than men whose parents are still married. Interestingly, men− and only men—seem to be affected by this phenomenon, as the study found no significant evidence to show that women from divorced families were at a higher risk.

According to researchers, even after eliminating obvious risk factors like depression, anxiety, riskier health behaviors, lower socioeconomic status, age, race and social support, men from divorced families were still three times more at risk for stroke.

While researchers are baffled by the results of the study, they attribute its outcome to an increase of the stress hormone cortisol, which has been linked to men who have experienced unfavorable childhood experiences, but not to women. The other theory is that not having a dad is simply not conducive to healthy living, as researchers hypothesize that not having a father around seems to create similar reactions that have been seen in men after the death of their fathers.

Researchers add that having a dad may be good for long-term health.

[Medical Daily]

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