Saying “I Do” may be good medicine for your heart
If you are happily married or have wedding bells in your future—read on because you may be doing wonders for your heart health. According to researchers in Finland, married couples appear to have reduced risks of heart attacks.
This is the opposite of studies that have been done on those who are single or living alone, which show an increase in the risk of developing and dying from heart disease. It is important to note that published research about singles and those who live alone has been primarily been done on men. This Finland study includes both genders.
The lead researcher for the study performed at Turku University Hospital and published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology—suggests that marriage reduces the risk of acute coronary events and death in both men and women of all ages.
They also found that middle-aged men and women who are married or cohabiting have a better prognosis of heart attack outcomes before and after hospitalization.
Looking specifically at the role marriage might play in the likelihood of having a heart attack, researchers reviewed data of more than 15,300 people who suffered heart attacks between 1993 and 2002. They found that unmarried men were 58 to 66 percent more likely to have a heart attack. The numbers were just as high for single women, 60 to 65 percent.
It’s still not clear why marriage might have such a profound effect on the heart. But researchers suggest several possible reasons including the fact that many married couples may be better off financially, motivate each other to live healthier lives as a priority for their families and, in some cases, have more social support and friends.
Another unique observation was that married couples appeared to get better treatment after their discharge from the hospital. This included having help with following post discharge care — such as taking daily aspirin, cholesterol-lowering statins and other medications to control high blood pressure.
There is still much more to be learned and uncovered about the correlation between marriage and the heart. But for now these finding suggest that wedded bliss is not such a bad thing when it comes heart health matters.
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health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.