Think that being estranged from your family doesn't have an effect on your health? Think again, says a new study.
A new study has found that close family relationships do a better job at extending the lives of older people than relationships with friends. The study found that older adults who were very close with family had about a 6 percent risk of dying within the next five years compared to 14 percent for those who weren’t very close to their families.
It’s an extraordinary finding that shows that your relationships make a big difference in your livelihood, according to an American Sociological Association statement. There was no mistaking the findings: people who weren’t close to their families had a greater risk of dying, particularly from heart attack or stroke.
Why? It could be because there are greater expectations from family. People expect that their family will take care of you even when the going gets tough, whereas even the best friendships often aren’t held by unconditional bonds.
That doesn’t mean family is always better for you — just that it usually is. However, if a family is abusive or burdensome, and you have an especially close friend who is with you through thick and then, that can be more beneficial than being closer to your family.