In-Laws Pose Health Hazard for Japanese Women: Study

Heart attack risk triples when under same roof
By Green Point,  Newser User
Posted Dec 16, 2008 4:59 PM CST
Living with one's mother-in-law can ease child-care worries, but at least among Japanese women, it can wreak havoc on the heart.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Japanese women who live with their in-laws face three times the risk of a heart attack than those living only with their husbands, a study finds. “This is the first epidemiological study to show that these traditional living arrangements in Japan are rather harmful for women,” one of the study’s authors tells the New York Times.

Wives who live with in-laws and children face double, rather than triple, the odds. Faced with these prospects, young Japanese women are delaying marriage and having fewer children, he adds. But while in-laws at home might cause more heart attacks, the rate of death is no higher, perhaps because in-laws are there to care for them. The study found husbands unaffected: “They’re immune from the stresses in the home.”