New Study Reveals That Marriage is Good For Your Heart

Joe Raedle Getty Images North America—AFP

A combined review of the data indicated that unmarried, divorcees, or widowers were at higher risk (42%) of getting coronary artery or heart disease (16%) in comparison with married people.

In addition, unmarried participants had a 43% higher risk of being killed by heart disease and 55% of dying after a stroke.

While the study wasn't a controlled experiment created to prove whether or how marriage might help improve heart health, there are many reasons marriage might have a protective effect including potentially more financial stability and social support, said senior study author Dr. Mamas Mamas of the University of Keele in the United Kingdom.

Furthermore, spousal pressure seems to convince heart attack and stroke survivors to undergo rehabilitation shortly after the event.

Moreover, a spouse can help with the early diagnosis of heart attack or heart disease, which can prove lifesaving.

"They may adopt balanced diet and lifestyle for example, through encouraging their partner to lose weight, do more physical activities or simply encouragement to go and see a doctor for seemingly minor ailments such as heartburn which can be due to heart disease". Usually the risk of cardiovascular disease is attributed to risk factors such as age, sex, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, and diabetes.

Considered as the largest study, the researchers drew on past research that involved more than 2 million people aged between 42 and 77 from Europe, Scandinavia, North America, the Middle East, and Asia.

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A new study, published online in the journal "Heart", pooled analysis of available data to find marriage may protect against the development of heart disease and stroke as well as influence who is more likely to die from them.

According to a research by Keele University in the United Kingdom, marriage can help lower the risks of heart diseases or strokes.

Gender relations may still play a role in the different outcomes for married and unmarried patients, Dr. Stefania Basili of Sapienza University of Rome and colleagues write in an accompanying editorial.

"A wide range of behavioral factors, psychosocial processes, and personal and cultural factors can create, suppress or amplify underlying biological differences in cardiovascular disease", Basili and colleagues write.

But there was no information on how same sex partnerships or the quality of marriages could affect the chances of developing it.

Researcher Mamas Mamas, MD, noted that people who are married are more likely to undergo treatment after a stroke or heart attack than unmarried people. Exercise is important, too.

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