Stress, Health and Relationships

Research due to be published this autumn in the USA journal Cancer suggests that too much stress can impact on surviving cancer. This study was a meta-analysis of 3.8 million people, cancer sufferers diagnosed between 1973 and 2004. Married people were found to have a 5 year survival rate of 63% compared to a 45% rate for those who were separated. The explanation offered is that the stress of a break-up in a serious relationship interferes with healing and recovery, and hence survival rates. The researchers suggest that the love and support of a partner is a key factor in battling illness, even one as serious as cancer, and their findings are supported by many previous studies. Of course, important other factors are also relevant – how many can you think of?

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