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Work Stress, Divorce a Deadly Combo for Men - Study

Last Updated: February 10, 2002 04:15 PM ET

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Chronic work stress and divorce can be a deadly combination for men, a new study has found.

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the State University of New York-Oswego studied data from 12,366 patients who participated in the seven-year Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and will be published in the Feb. 11 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Of 10,904 men who were married a the beginning of the trial, the researchers found those who stayed married were less likely to die from a number of causes than those who divorced. During a nine-year follow-up period starting at the end of the trial, some 1,505 of the men with work-related stress had died, including 771 patients from cardiovascular causes.

Of those who divorced during the trial, 1,332 died from various causes, including some 663 from cardiovascular causes.

Those most adversely affected in the trial were patients experiencing both work stress and divorce, the study found.

The researchers suggested "remaining married in midlife has protective effects in the face of adverse experiences at work." They recommended counseling to help overcome work and marital stress.

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