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You really can be nagged to death

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keeping up appearances

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In the BBC sitcom Keeping Up Appearances, a snobbish housewife is determined to climb the social ladder, in spite of her family's working class connections and the constant chagrin of her long-suffering husband.

 

London - It's a warning for any man who feels he is being constantly nagged - by his wife, the children or even the neighbours.

Researchers have found that “excessive demands” from partners, family or those living nearby can more than double the risk of death in middle-age.

They say the stress caused by arguments or general worry can lead to heart disease and also lower the immune system leading to other health problems.

And the effects appear to be far greater in men because unlike women they don’t share their problems with close friends or family.

Danish researchers who carried out the study say many men only confide in their wife or girlfriend - the very person who may be giving them grief.

Dr Rikke Lund and colleagues from the University of Copenhagen followed 9 875 Danish men and women aged 36 to 52 for 11 years.

All had filled in detailed questionnaires to establish how often they faced demands or had conflicts with partners, family, friends or neighbours.

Questions included “In your everyday life, do you experience conflicts with any of the following people?” and “do you experience that any of the following people demand too much of you?”

Over the 11 year period 196 of the adults died - causes ranged from heart disease, cancer, liver disease from alcohol abuse and suicide.

The academics then used a mathematical formula to calculate how likely men and women were to die based on how often they had reported arguing or being nagged by partners, family and friends.

Men who said they faced “many” demands from their partner or family and friends were more than twice as likely to die compared to women in the same category who were 34 percent more likely to die.

Dr Lund - whose study is published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health - blamed stress for causing the early deaths as it triggers high blood pressure and heart disease.

She said men may be particularly affected as they have fewer friends and close family in which to confide.

“Previous research seem to say it is stress on your cardiovascular system which is associated with increase in blood pressure which is associated with heart disease.

“Men to report smaller networks than women. They say their spouse or partner is their main confidant. They may have a good friend or close colleague but their network is smaller.

“Women tend to have larger networks and they share the stress they have with good friends and family member.

“Men will limit their conversations with friends and family. The one person they have as a confidant is actually the one putting the worries and demands on them then that could be making them more vulnerable.”

She said there was no evidence that stress caused cancer although it could lead to suicide or deaths related to alcohol. - Daily Mail

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