How being married can help save your life
Marriage really can be good for your heart.
According to a recent study from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, “Being married not only improves your survival rate after a heart attack but also means [fewer] days in the hospital.”
Researchers found that married people were 14 percent less likely to die after a heart attack than single people. Married people were also, on average, likely to spend two fewer days in the hospital than single people after such an event.
“The stress of a heart attack can destroy much more than just our physical health,” says Dr. Sunil Kadakia, a cardiologist at the Advocate Heart Institute at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Ill. “At times, it eats away our hope, belief and faith.”
“The findings that married people are more likely to survive a heart attack and leave the hospital sooner than single people emphasize the importance of physical and emotional support after a heart attack,” explains Dr. Kadakia.
The long-term research was comprehensive, including analysis of 25,000 patients with a heart attack diagnosis between January 2000 and March 2013.
The reason why married people are more likely to survive a heart attack was not clear, according to the press release. Although previous studies have linked marriage to improved heart attack outcomes, this is the first study to suggest that marital status affects how quickly heart attack patients are discharged.
Dr Nicholas Gollop, from University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School, emphasized that the results should not be a cause for concern for single people who have had a heart attack, according to the release. “But they should certainly be a reminder to the medical community of the importance of considering the support a heart attack survivor will get once they are discharged,” he explained.
Married or not, a solid support group can be very beneficial. According to Dr. Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, “A cardiac rehabilitation course will help you to recover physically, psychologically and also help you meet people with similar experiences.”
For more information on Advocate Good Shepherd’s cardiac rehabilitation program and other heart care, visit the Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital website.
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