A new meta-analysis has found a link between marriage and a lower risk of having a heart attack or being diagnosed with heart disease.
The new study is based on data from 34 other research papers which involved two million people. Researchers found that people who were not married, including the widowed and divorcees, had a 42% higher risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke.
- Also, people not married had a 16% higher risk of coronary artery disease, a condition that boosts the risk of having a heart attack.
- In addition, unmarried participants had a 43% higher risk of being killed by heart disease and 55% of dying after a stroke.
The study appeared this week in the journal Heart.
Researchers couldn’t tell why exactly marriage seems to have a protective role when it comes to heart disease. Past studies have shown that marriage offers social support and a higher financial stability, which might explain its many benefits.
Spousal Pressure Can Be Life-Saving
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. This may be an effect of spousal pressure.
Furthermore, spousal pressure seems to convince heart attack and stroke survivors to undergo rehabilitation shortly after the event. Rehabilitation is critical in improving those patients’ survival rates.
Moreover, a spouse can help with the early diagnosis of heart attack or heart disease, which can prove lifesaving. However, not being married is not a significant risk factor for heart disease. There are other factors like high blood pressure, sex, age, smoking, and diabetes which can account for up to 80% of the overall risk.
The analysis also revealed that divorce can boost the risk of death from stroke by twofold and heart disease by 33%. Divorcees also face a 35% higher risk of heart disease than their married peers.
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