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Nagging early grave: Premature death directly linked to nagging, study proves

An alarming study regarding nagging and an early grave determined that people who frequently argue with family and friends, or worry too much about their loved ones, may have triple the risk of a premature death, Live Science wrote in a report Thursday. Frequent nagging in relationships has a direct impact on the risk of death of a person and it can predispose people to disease or accidents leading to death.

For the nagging early grave study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, researchers analyzed data from 9,875 men and women between the ages of 36 and 52 . The individuals were part of the Danish Longitudinal Study on Work, Health and Unemployment. Scientists dug into the daily lives of the participants and how they carried out their social relations. All participants were asked about their social relationships in everyday life, especially the causes of their concerns or conflicts and how often such situations arose. Tracking participants was conducted from 2000 to 2011.

During this period, 196 women and 226 men died. Almost half of the deaths were caused by cancer, while the rest were due to cardiovascular disease, stroke, accident or suicide. The nagging early grave study also found that men are mostly at risk because men usually keep problems bottled up and have weaker support networks than women. Whether this is the main reason that the life expectancy of women is significantly higher than that of men, however, still needs to be clarified.

After analyzing factors such as gender, marital status, depressive symptoms, emotional support and social class, among other influential elements, researchers found that frequent nagging with partners or children were linked to between 50 and 100% of increased risk of death.

Citing a report from The National Post, the effects from nagging are so strong that it could account for thousands of deaths a year, the Danish researchers suggested. Around 315 extra deaths per 100,000 people per year could be caused by spousal demands and worries, they said. However, women appeared immune to nagging as there was little effect on their death rates.

"Having these types of stressful relations can lead to bodily symptoms which have been shown before to increase the risk of high blood pressure. These effects on the body might be part of the explanation for the connection between stress and mortality 10 years later," explained study researcher Rikke Lund, an associate professor of medical sociology at University of Copenhagen.