Excessive demands from a partner significantly increase the risk of suffering angina, research showed today.
Dealing with worries from children and other family members also adds to the burden, but friends and neighbours pose little risk - unless they are argumentative.
One reason could be that stress levels rise due to demands and worries, although one's own personality may also play a role, researchers said.
Angina is a pain or discomfort felt in the chest and is usually caused by coronary heart disease. Some people may experience pain only in their arm, neck, stomach or jaw.
While many people describe the feeling as severe tightness, others say it more resembles a dull ache.
Today's study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community
Health, involved more than 4,500 Danish men and women who were free from heart disease at the start of the study in 2000.
They were aged either 40 or 50 at the start of the study and were followed for six years.
A series of questions were asked regarding their health and the quality of their relationships with other people, including levels of demand, degree of worry they experienced, and whether there were arguments and, if so, how often.
The results showed that demands from a partner increased the risk of angina almost fourfold.
Children more than doubled the risk while other family members almost doubled the risk too.
When it came to specific analysis of arguments, regularly arguing with a partner increased the risk by 44% while frequent arguments with a neighbour boosted it by 60%.
The authors, from the University of Copenhagen, concluded: "Excessive demands and serious worries from significant others seem to be important risk factors for development of angina."
Overall, 9% of the group developed angina, and the results were similar for men and women.
Risks were higher for the older age group and the more pressure a person was under, the more likely they were to suffer angina.
Previous studies have found that people who are happy in their social relationships tend to have better health.