Marriage can prevent the development of heart disease, stroke and other associated risks of death, while singles and widowers are at greater risk, said a new study released yesterday in the Heart Journal. Living married can have a beneficial impact on who is more likely to die from such conditions, a combined assessment of the available data suggests.
80% of cardiovascular disease can be associated with well-known risk factors such as age, gender, blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or smoking, but it is uncertain what influences the remaining 20%, says the new study’s report.
In earlier studies, the impact of marital status was ambiguous, so the professor of cardiology at Keele Mamas University in Britain and his colleagues sought out published studies in research databases to attempt to elucidate this matter.
The researchers analyzed 34 studies out of the 225 released between 1963 and 2015, in which over 2 million people aged between 42 and 77 from North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia participated.
Marriage is beneficial for your heart health, the new study’s results revealed
A combined review of the data indicated that unmarried, divorcees, or widowers were at higher risk (42%) of getting coronary artery or heart disease (16%) in comparison with married people. Likewise, unmarried people were linked to “an increased risk” of death from both coronary artery disease (45%) and stroke (55%), the report states.
A further breakdown of the data pointed out that divorce was related to a 35% higher risk of getting heart disease, whereas for widowers the risk of suffering a stroke was 16% greater, for both men and women, in equal measure.
The surveys used for this new study did not contain any information about same-sex partners, the characteristics of marriage, or the potential distinctions between marriage and cohabitation with the partner.
The study reminds us that there are some theories as to why marriage may have a health-protective impact, including earlier identification of medical issues and the response to treatments, as well as improved financial security, increased well-being, and stronger friendship ties.