Frequent Conflicts May Cause Early Death

July 17, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. loved one /lʌvd wʌn/ (n.) – a person with close and deep relationship with someone
Example: Most of our loved ones attended my sister’s wedding.

2. wrangle /ˈræŋ gəl/ (v.) – to have a long and serious argument with a person
Example: The couple is wrangling about their conflict of interests.

3. peaceable /ˈpi bəl/ (adj.) – referring to people who do not want to argue or fight
Example: My family consists of peaceable people; we rarely argue.

4. conflict /ˈkɒn flɪkt/ (n.) – a fight or disagreement between people or groups
Example: They need to talk to be able to resolve their conflict.

5. mortality /mɔrˈtæl ɪ ti/ (n.) – death of a person or an animal
Example: Cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality among people.


Read the text below.
Researchers from Denmark suggest that stress brought by frequent arguments with loved ones can cause early death.

A study conducted by professors from the University of Copenhagen [koh-puh n-HEY-guh n] revealed that many individuals who often wrangle with people close to them died at a younger age than the more peaceable ones.

In 2000, researchers gathered 9,875 Danish adults aged between 36 and 52 to participate in the study. Researchers asked the participants about their conflicts with their own spouses, children, relatives, and friends. Six percent of the participants had fights with their partners, while six percent had disagreements with their children. Two percent had arguments with other family members and one percent had issues with their friends.

The researchers then collected government health data to find out who among the participants had already died and who are still alive after 11 years.

The findings revealed that six percent of the men and four percent of the women had already died after 11 years. The common causes of death are cancer, cardiovascular [kahr-dee-oh-VAS-kyuh-ler] diseases, alcohol abuse, and accidents. Researchers cited that higher death rate belonged to those who had severe conflicts in their lives as compared with those who had a more peaceful life.

According to the researchers, personality affects people’s relationships and mortality. People with negative personalities may become more stressed, which can lead to poor health. Scientifically, stress makes one’s body produce cortisol, a stress hormone that helps overcome problematic situations. However, overproduction of this hormone can cause sickness. Thus, the study recommends people to prioritize settling disputes to avoid early death.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree that people with many conflicts in life live shorter? Why do you say so?
·         Aside from settling disputes, what else can be done to have better social relationships?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think arguments still happen between closely related people?
·         How do conflicts affect one’s life?

July 17, 2014