Lexington, KY- We know that heartache and divorce go hand and hand, but a new study shows that for women divorce can actually break their hearts. Or, more accurately can cause a heart attack. Yikes!

The results of a new study from Duke University found that women who have been divorced for the first time have a 24 percent higher chance of suffering a heart attack than women who stayed with their first husband. Women who had been divorced twice had 77 percent greater chance of having one, according to Reuters.

Men, however, fared much better. Researchers found that risk of heart attack in men only increased after their second divorce. This group is 30 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack than men who never divorce or who were remarried.

To get their results researchers analyzed data of more than 15,000 people between the ages of 45 and 80, tracking their medical records and their marital status. According to Reuters, 14 percent of men and 19 percent of women were divorced, but by the end of the study nearly a third of all study participants were divorced.

During the 18-year period, over a 1,000 study participants had suffered a heart attack. What’s more, researchers found that those who has suffered a heart were more likely to be divorced.

“Earlier studies have suggested that marital loss has a greater impact on the health of women than men,” author of the study Matthew L. Dupre of Duke Clinical Research Institute told Reuters Health. “The reasons for these differences are not entirely known; however, the prevailing view is that divorced women suffer greater economic losses and emotional distress than divorced men.”

Researchers are not certain why the divorce increases the chances of a heart attack, but noted that during the stress of a divorce people allow themselves to slip into bad habits. After divorce, people are more likely to smoke, drink and adopt unhealthy eating habits.

This is not the only study to show how badly divorce can affect the health of the adults and children involved. A University of Utah study found that divorce can lead to heart disease with women experiencing the greater risk. Other studies have shown that divorce can cause insomnia, stress and lead a person to drink.

But if your marriage is on the rocks and you don’t get along with your spouse, you shouldn’t stay in an unhappy marriage. It’s stressful and stress– the root of many human ailments–is a killer. At USAttorneys we can connect you with a divorce law firm in your area who can prepare you for your divorce and give you the support you need to take this scary step.

Our Lexington divorce attorney know first-hand how difficult this time can be for a person. Divorce brings with it many unknowns and gives rise to very contentious issues such as child custody and asset division. These issues can be taxing beyond words and you need a family law attorney on your side, taking care of the big issues and helping you resolve your conflicts.