Whether it's your significant other, your mom, your brother, or your best friend, we all have that one person with whom we constantly find ourselves butting heads. While nobody likes to argue, many of us find it's an inevitable part of some of our closest relationships. But, new research suggests we might want to try a little harder to keep the peace: Data from the University of Copenhagen indicates that frequent arguing with a partner or loved one could greatly increase your risk of death in middle age.
Published last week in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the study surveyed 10,000 Danish men and women, aged 36 to 52, about their close relationships back in 2000. In 2011, researchers checked back in with the subjects, finding that 226 men and 196 women had died during the study. They then crunched the numbers to find out how interpersonal relationship stresses may have contributed to the mortality rates they observed.
After controlling for gender, long-term health conditions, marital status, social class, and mental health issues like depression, the researchers found that those who argued with a close relative or romantic partner had a risk of death 100% to 300% higher than those who did not. In addition, subjects who cited "frequent worries or demands generated by partners and/or children" saw their mortality risk increase by 50% to 100%. Being unemployed also seemed to exacerbate these risks.
Of course, as the researchers acknowledge, some of us have personalities that may make us either more likely to engage in frequent arguing or more vulnerable to its effects. Still, this study makes us wonder how many of our family squabbles could be avoided — and whether those tiffs are worth the long-term strain. Sounds like it might be time to give peace a chance. (ScienceDaily)