It is well known that divorce can be depressing. Even if you are the spouse to initiate the split, it still may represent an unwanted life change. After all, few get married expecting the relationship to end in court someday.

But despite the emotional and psychological strain of divorce, it may not occur to our readers that being divorced could have consequences for their physical health. That is the conclusion of a new study, which reports that divorced women are 24 to 77 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack than other women.

The researchers behind the study followed their subjects for 18 years, during which time the subjects’ lives progressed in different ways. As they aged, many of the subjects’ marital status and health changed.

After controlling for other factors, like age, race and personal habits, researchers found what appears to be a connection between divorce and heart trouble, at least for women. According to their study, as discussed by Time, female subjects who had been divorced were 24 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack than women who remained married during the study period.

Instead of relieving this elevated risk, getting married again actually increases a woman’s heart attack risk; the study says women in this situation had a 35 percent increased chance of heart attack. And multiple divorces were linked to a 77 percent increased risk, similar to hypertension and diabetes.

These findings will be troubling to many of our readers. But we do not share this to discourage people from considering divorce, if their marriage is beyond saving. Surely there is nothing healthy about staying in an unhappy relationship. Finding the right divorce attorney puts many people on the road to moving on with their lives.