You can joke all you want about your kids, your parents or even your spouse driving you nuts--but the truth is, they could be doing something a whole lot worse.
A new study finds that demanding relatives and other forms of family stress can increase your odds of getting angina, which is pain caused when the heart doesn't get enough blood.
And if that's not dangerous enough, it's also a symptom of heart disease.
On the bright side, I'd call that a pretty good excuse to keep the in-laws at arm's length.
Danish researchers followed 4,500 middle-aged men and women who had no heart problems at the start of the study for six years. By the end of the study, however, 9.5 percent of men and 9.1 percent of women had experienced angina.
Those most likely to come down with the condition tended to have less money and less happiness--but they also had one other thing in common: more stress from family members.
The researchers collected data on the types and qualities of relationships the volunteers had with friends and family, and found that worrying or demanding relationships with a spouse increased the risk of angina by 3.5 times, while those same qualities in a relationship with a child doubled the risk.
I'm guessing that risk shot up the moment the child got a driver's license, or when a daughter brought home her first boyfriend... but the study didn't get into that level of detail.
Arguing could also increase your angina risk--but it depends on who you argue with: Bickering with your neighbor could increase the odds by 60 percent, while frequent disputes with your spouse upped it by 44 percent.
You can safely argue with your kids, though. The study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that those disagreements had no impact on angina risk.
Likewise, worry and demands from neighbors also didn't make a difference, at least when it came to angina.
If that's too much to remember, here's a cheat sheet: Argue with your kids, worry with your neighbors, and don't do either with your spouse.
Yes, I know that last one's impossible. Sometimes, life involves risk.