Being in a bad relationship could literally break your heart, new research suggests.
Researchers have found that people who feel insecure or anxious about their lovers are nearly 50pc more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than those happy with their partner.
Dr Lachlan McWilliams of Acadia University in Canada looked at a study of more than 5,645 adults aged 18 to 60 and found that people who felt insecure in relationships or avoided getting close to others might be at a higher risk of developing several chronic diseases.
The participants answered a questionnaire about their histories of arthritis, chronic back or neck problems, frequent or severe headaches, other forms of chronic pain, seasonal allergies, stroke and heart attack.
They also disclosed whether a doctor had told them they had heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma, chronic lung disease, diabetes or high blood sugar, ulcers, epilepsy, seizures or cancer.
The results showed that "anxious attachment" was positively associated with a wider range of health conditions, including some several involving the cardiovascular system including stroke, heart attack and high blood pressure.
“These findings suggest that insecure attachment may be a risk factor for a wide range of health problems, particularly cardiovascular diseases," said Dr McWilliams.
"The findings also raise the possibility that interventions aimed at improving attachment security could also have positive health outcomes.”
The study was published by the American Psychological Association.
Telegraph Media Group Limited