By Vanessa Chalmers Health Reporter For Mailonline
Published: 14:00 GMT, 7 November 2019 | Updated: 14:09 GMT, 7 November 2019
They say blood is thicker than water - and now researchers have uncovered proof that supports the old adage.
Falling out with your parents, siblings or distant cousins may damage your health more than falling out with your partner, a study found.
Data showed over-45s whose relationships with family members were strained faced greater risk of a stroke, back pain and headaches.
However, a break down of a romantic relationship did not have the same damaging effects.
Falling out with your parents, siblings or even distant cousins may be more detrimental to your health than a row with your partner, researchers say
Academics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center tracked 2,802 participants for two decades. All of them took surveys asking about their relationships and health.
Questions included 'How often do members of your family criticize you?', and 'How much can you rely on [your family] for help?'.
They were also asked 'How often does your spouse or partner argue with you?', as well as 'How much does your spouse or partner appreciate you?'
Health was measured as 'morbidity', based on participants' number of chronic conditions experienced in the past year. The paper did not indicate what all of these were.
Participants also rated their overall health on a scale of zero to five, from excellent to poor, during each of the three surveys.
We're social creatures – in the past we always lived in packs and groups and in today's world with pressure and demands, it's