A study has found that men in polygamous marriages have a higher risk of heart problems compared to those in monogamous marriages.
Men who are polygamous raise their risk of coronary heart disease four-fold compared to those married to only one woman, according to new research from the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
“We found an association between an increasing number of wives and the severity and number of coronary blockages. This could be because the need to provide and maintain separate households multiplies the financial burden and emotional expense,” said study co-author and cardiologist Dr. Amin Daoulah.
“Each household must be treated fairly and equally, and it seems likely that the stress of doing that for several spouses and possibly several families of children is considerable,” he added.
The study was conducted in countries in the Middle East, namely Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, where polygamy is more culturally accepted.
The team analyzed data from 687 men: 68% had one wife, 19% had two wives, 10% had three wives and 3% had four wives. The average age of the men was 59 years old. More than half of them had high blood pressure and diabetes, and nearly half had a history of heart disease.
Data showed that polygamous men had 4.6 times the risk of having narrowed coronary arteries and 2.6 times the risk of having multiple narrowed arteries than monogamous men.
Because the study does not establish a cause-and-effect relationship between how many wives a man has and the health of his heart, it is possible that other factors such as eating habits and intimacy in marriage could have influenced the results.
Sources: April 28, 2015. “Polygamous Marriage May Be Bad for a Man's Heart”. livescience.com April 29, 2015. “Polygamy 'is bad for the heart'”. telegraph.co.uk