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If your spouse has cancer, your heart disease risk climbs 29%!

by , 22 October 2014

Previous studies showed that relatives of chronically ill patients have a higher chance of suffering from depression and mental illness.

But now, researchers have revealed an even more alarming finding:

Your risk for coronary heart disease and stroke could shoot up by almost 30% when your partner suffers from cancer.

Here's what else you should know…

The link between your partner’s health and your heart problems 

Understandably, the spouses of cancer patients experience extreme negative stress. This mental stress often leads to depression. This negatively affects your nervous system and your blood pressure. And even causes inflammation in the body which, in turn, increases your risk for coronary heart disease and stroke by between 13% and 29%.

The researchers ruled out the possibility the increased heart disease risk could be as a result of the spouse having shared the same lifestyle, exercise and diet, tobacco and alcohol consumption habits before the diagnosis. This because, when they analysed these risk factors using the Swedish cancer and inpatient registries, they found the shared lifestyle only accounted for a 3%-5% increase in the risk for cardiovascular disease before the person’s life-partner became ill with cancer.

So what can you do to protect your heart if your partner’s diagnosed with cancer?

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Take these three steps to protect your heart health when your spouse needs you to be there for them

When your spouse is facing a disease such as cancer, you can’t help but put your own needs aside while helping them through their ordeal.
But the reality is, if you don’t take these three steps to protect your health, you could face detrimental health problems as a direct result. So, be sure to put a recovery plan together, for the both of you, incorporating these steps:

  • Exercise helps you keep physically healthy, but also plays a vitally important role in stress release. The less stress you bottle up, the less chance you have of developing clinical depression and inflammation in the body that could lead to cardiovascular disease and stroke.

  • Counseling helps you deal with the intense emotions associated with watching a loved one suffer from an illness as shattering as cancer.

  • Diet is even more important when you’re sick or severely stressed. Pay special attention to reducing refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats and eating more fresh foods, fruits and vegetables.
Remember, the stronger and healthier you are, the better you’ll be able to help your spouse through this difficult time. So take care of yourself. It could be the most important thing you do for your partner’s health.

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