Is saying “I do” the key to a healthy life?
They say “a happy wife equals a happy life,” but did you know that having a loving spouse could be good for your health?
When it comes to preventing problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, marriage could remedy these common issues.
A recent study performed by researchers at Aston Medical School concluded that married participants had better chances of surviving a heart attack than unmarried people. In addition, among the 50-70 year-old men and women with high cholesterol who were tested, the married respondents were 16 percent more likely to be alive at the end of the 14-year study than the singles.
How could marriage prevent something as serious as a heart attack? Researchers found that married people took better care of themselves since they have a spouse or oftentimes a family for whom they are held accountable.
Dr. Marc Silver, cardiologist at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill., explains, “The greatest heart health benefit that a loving relationship often brings is encouragement by staying active together or reminding partners to eat heart healthy. If you are married, try to inspire heart-healthy habits in your spouse such as eating more vegetables and whole grains and limiting unhealthy fats.”
The study compared married verses single people’s risk of death from various different ailments, including heart disease. The study did not take in to account whether the married people were in happy marriages or not. Nonetheless, they infer that having someone special in your life produces these positive health effects.
Although these findings seem pro-marriage, doctors would not advise that everyone needs to get married. The take-away of this research is that our human social interactions – whether with a spouse, a close-knit family or a thriving network of friends – in addition to medical risk components such as cholesterol and blood pressure, are both contributing sources of our health and well-being.
Sometimes, the most important thing a person can have in their life is support.
“It is true for both married and single people alike that calling upon loved ones during times of possible health problems can benefit you greatly,” says Dr. Silver.
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