According to a Danish study published yesterday in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, middle-aged people who argue with their loved ones are 50-to-100 percent more likely to die prematurely than their non-confrontational counterparts. At least, that's how the study is being spun, but don't bite your tongue the next time a family member insults your cooking.
The study, which was attempting to find the relationships between "stressful social relations" and mortality, found that "frequent worries/demands from partner or children were associated with 50–100% increased mortality risk," adding:
Frequent conflicts with any type of social relation were associated with 2–3 times increased mortality risk. Interaction between labor force participation and worries/demands (462 additional cases per 100 000 person-years, p=0.05) and conflicts with partner (830 additional cases per 100 000 person-years, p<0.01) was suggested. Being male and experiencing frequent worries/demands from partner produced 135 extra cases per 100 000 person-years, p=0.05 due to interaction.
The researchers looked at nearly 10,000 adult men and women from 2000 to 2011. Of these, 196 women (4 percent) and 226 men (6 percent) died. Nearly half of them died of cancer, and the other half were killed by heart disease, stroke, liver disease, accidents and suicide. Which are all very real things that will kill you and are almost never caused by arguing (with the possible exception of suicide, and heart disease, which has been linked to anxiety and stress previously, but not to arguing, per se.)