"Children of divorce face twice the risk of stroke as adults
Mon, Nov 22, 2010 (HealthDay News) — Children of divorce appear to have more than double the lifetime risk for experiencing a stroke compared with those whose parents' marriage stays intact during their childhood, new research suggests."
So, you're marriage is in trouble. You're having a rough time. Here comes Babycenter to make it that much easier to decide to stay in a marriage that you probably shouldn't or to feel so much guiltier and worse about what your decision to divorce is going to do to your children. That's what you need right about now, isn't it?
When you read all the way down, you see that the people with double the occurrence were people of children who were divorced in...WAIT FOR IT..."1930s, 1940s and 1950s." It's amazing to me that this is newsworthy. The study focused on Canadians in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The results were presented at the annual meeting of the American GERENTOLOGICAL Association. This is not for parents who might be divorcing today, this is for doctors of people over 60 who are trying to identify populations with stroke risk. If we assume that the profile of a child of divorce in 1935 is the same as now, we are making an error. It even has a name! Extending the relevant range.
The best way to illustrate a relevant range is with water. Water, as it cools, becomes more dense. So from 38 degrees to 4 degrees centigrade, water molecules come closer together. So let's just ASSUME that that relationship continues down to two degrees. We might, since we didn't measure the density of water at two degrees. But we would be wrong. Ever notice how ice floats on top of liquid water? That's because water, unlike other substances is the most dense at 3.98 degrees centigrade <http://www.helium.com/knowledge/6620-the-temperature-at-which-water-is-most-dense>.
So if we assume that the children of divorces that occur in the 2010s will have the same increased likelihood for stroke as the children of divorce from the 1930s, 40s and 50s, we are looking outside of the relevant range. We can make NO assumptions about the likelihood of these children having a stroke over the course of their lifetime.
Long story short, Divorce is really difficult for everyone involved. It is a decision that I have anecdotal evidence telling me that most people don't make lightly. If you are considering the effects of getting divorced on your children, PLEASE focus on things other than their risk of stroke in their sixties. It's too far off and we don't know if it's correlated (don't get me started on causal).