By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There are some couples who can’t seem to get through the day without an argument. This could have a serious toll on your health.
Couples who regularly battle it out have elevated stress levels that significantly impede their body’s wound healing capacity. Scientists say this is particularly important during times of illness and recovery from surgery when the body is more vulnerable.
The landmark study is from Ohio State where 42 married couples were studied, and the average couple had been married 13 years.
During the study, couples discussed marital topics such as money or in-laws, specially selected to provoke an argument. To monitor the discussion’s impact on healing, the researchers created eight tiny blisters on the arms of each spouse prior to the conversations. After removing the wounded skin, the blisters actually healed slower in those who were arguing.
Recent studies looking at susceptibility to infection have yielded similar results.