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Constant marital fights can cause leaky gut, depression

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Married people who have nasty fights are more likely to suffer from leaky guts — a problem that unleashes bacteria into the blood and can drive up disease causing inflammation, a new research has found.

It’s the first study to illuminate this particular pathway between bad marriages and poor health, said Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, from The Ohio State University in the US.

The research has pointed out a connection between bad marriages and poor health.

“We think that this everyday marital distress, at least for some people, is causing changes in the gut that lead to inflammation and, potentially, illness,” said Kiecolt-Glaser, lead author of the study.

As part of the study, The researchers recruited 43 healthy married couples, surveyed them about their relationships and then encouraged them to discuss and try to resolve a conflict likely to provoke strong disagreement.

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The researchers left the couples alone for these discussions, videotaped the 20-minute interactions and later watched how the couples fought.

They categorized their verbal and non-verbal fighting behaviors, with a special interest in hostility, things such as dramatic eye rolls or criticizing each other.

The researchers compared the blood drawn pre-fight to blood drawn post-fight and noticed that men and women who demonstrated more hostile behaviors during the observed discussions had higher levels of one biomarker for leaky gut than their mellower peers.

Evidence of leaky gut was even greater in study participants who had particularly hostile interactions with their spouse and a history of depression or another mood disorder.

Glaser said, “Marital stress is a particularly potent stress because your partner is typically your primary support and in a troubled marriage your partner becomes your major source of stress.”

The full findings are present in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.

With Agency Inputs

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Sexual assault, harassment linked to worse physical and mental health among women

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Experiences of sexual harassment and sexual assault could have a significant impact on the physical and mental health of midlife women, a new study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has suggested.

Sexual harassment and sexual assault are highly prevalent experiences among women, according to the study published in JAMA Internal Medicine,also will be presented at the North American Menopause Society meeting on Friday, Oct 5 2018 in San Diego, CA.

“When it comes to sexual harassment or sexual assault, our study shows that lived experiences may have a serious impact on women’s health, both mental and physical,” said Rebecca Thurston, PhD, professor of psychiatry, Pitt School of Medicine and the study’s first and senior author.

In the study, Thurston and her colleagues analysed the association between a history of sexual assault or workplace verbal or physical sexual harassment and physical and mental health parameters such as blood pressure, sleep, mood and anxiety.

“This is an issue that needs to be tackled with urgency not just in terms of treatment but in terms of prevention,” she added.

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The analysis was conducted among a group of 304 midlife women between the ages of 40 and 60 who were originally recruited as part of a larger study on association between menopause and cardiovascular health.

In the study group, approximately one in five women reported being either sexually harassed or sexually assaulted. Women who were younger or more financially stressed were more likely to be harassed.

Importantly, the study found that assaulted women were almost three times more likely to have symptoms consistent with major depression and were more than two times more likely to have elevated anxiety. Sexual harassment was associated with higher prevalence of hypertension.

Both sexual harassment and sexual assault were associated with a two-fold higher likelihood of poor sleep consistent with clinical insomnia.

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