The divorce/stroke connection: A recent study by University of Toronto suggests link between the two

Filed in Divorce News: Is your risk for suffering a stroke connected to your parents’ divorce? New research by the University of Toronto shows some disturbing trends. It seems that when a child is exposed to a parental divorce, his or her risk for a stroke later in life increased by a significant percentage point – even after controlling for such factors as socio-economics, age, race, diet and stress. According to

Children who experience a parental divorce are over twice as likely to suffer a stroke at some point in their lives, according to new research presented in New Orleans at The Gerontological Society of America‘s (GSA) 63rd Annual Scientific Meeting.
This finding is based on a representative community sample of over 13,000 people from the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey. The data analysis was conducted by Esme Fuller-Thomson, PhD, and a team of colleagues at the University of Toronto.
“We were very surprised that the association between parental divorce and stroke remained so strong even after we had adjusted for smoking, obesity, exercise and alcohol consumption,” said Fuller-Thomson.
Of the 13,134 total study respondents, 10.4 percent had experienced parental divorce during their childhood, and 1.9 percent reported that they had been diagnosed with a stroke at some point in their lives. When adjusting for age, race and gender, the odds of stroke were approximately 2.2 times higher for those who had experienced parental divorce.

To the untrained ear, this may sound ridiculous at first blush. But at second blush, could it be? The big question is, if divorce is contributing to the number of strokes in adults (whose parents divorced when they were children) how does one explain the fact that people have always been getting strokes, even prior to the 1970’s when divorce rates began to spike for the first time in the United States. Why were those people getting strokes?