Marriage Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
Researchers reveal that being married can ‘protect your health’, and boost survival chances if you have a major heart risk factor
The study included people who had cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes, with the married ones proving to be handling their ailments much better. Dr Paul Carter has already shown that marriage is linked to a better chance of surviving a heart attack and his latest study, presented at the British Cardiovascular Society conference, gives a further explanation to that finding. He explained that with marriage, often comes a loving spouse who might spur you on to look after yourself better, and in turn, marriage buffers against big heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Dr Carter said: "We need to unpick the underlying reasons a bit more, but it appears there's something about being married that is protective, not only in patients with heart disease but also those with heart disease risk factors.
“We're not saying that everyone should get married though. We need to replicate the positive effects of marriage and use friends, family and social support networks in the same way."
The research demonstrated that men and women with high cholesterol, in their 50s, 60s and 70s, were 16% more likely to be alive at the end of the 14 year study if they were married. Married people with diabetes and high blood pressure also had a higher chance of survival. The research didn’t take a look at whether the wedded people were in happy marriages, however they do suspect that having someone special in your life is what is important and not just simply the act of getting married.
Dr Mike Knapton, of the British Heart Foundation, said: "The take-home message is that our social interactions, as well as medical risk factors such as high blood pressure, are important determinants of both our health and wellbeing.
"Whether you are married or not, if you have any of the main risk factors for heart disease, then you can call upon loved ones to help you to manage them."