Marriage Good for the Heart

by Sudha Bhat on  February 12, 2013 at 12:40 PM Health Watch   - G J E 4
Marriage is a blissful union of two minds, souls and hearts that binds them together. The reality of marriage is far richer and more rewarding than one can ever guess. For some, the bonding with their better half could put them on cloud nine with unbound happiness!!! But wait! Now there is even a bigger reason to cheer and celebrate as they say that wedlock may also help you live longer, according to a new study of heart patients.
 Marriage Good for the Heart
Marriage Good for the Heart

Many studies conducted previously on the health benefits of matrimony often had unclear data on women and older people. However, a new study shows that marriage protected women even more than men from out-of-hospital heart attack deaths.

In the Finnish study, which was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, Dr. Aino Lammintausta, of Turku University Hospital suggests that being unmarried increases the risk of fatal and non-fatal heart attack in both men and women at any age.

Dr. Lammintausta and her team collected data on more than 15,300 people who suffered heart attacks between 1993 and 2002. Among these people, about 7,700 died within 28 days of their attack.

Dr. Lammintausta said "Our study suggests that marriage reduces the risk of acute coronary events and death due to acute coronary events in both men and women and at all ages."

"Furthermore, especially among middle-aged men and women, being married and cohabiting are associated with considerably better prognosis of incident acute coronary events both before hospitalization and after reaching the hospital alive," she said.

Evaluating the role of marriage on the risk of heart attack, the researchers found that single men were 58 to 66 percent more likely to have a heart attack, when compared to the married couples. For women, the nuptial benefit was even greater - single women were 60 to 65 per cent more likely to suffer acute coronary events.

For both genders, wedlock also considerably lowered heart attack mortality. Unmarried men were 60 to 68 per cent and unmarried women 71 to 75 per cent more likely to die of a heart attack within 28 days, compared to their married counterparts.

The study shows that being unmarried or living alone is known to increase cardiovascular disease incidence and cardiovascular mortality.

The researchers speculate that the above differences may be due to many reasons:

Married people have healthier lifestyles. Couples generally influence each other's eating habits, so they tend to eat healthy home cooked food and generally motivate one another to exercise, thus have a better chance to manage their weight and stay fit.

Married people generally have higher or double income, so are financially better off. Because married couples have an obligation to others, they tend to be more financially responsible and are more likely to save money.

In emergencies, resuscitation or calling for help is much faster amongst married people or those cohabiting since they could quickly call for an ambulance or medical help.

Married people tend to experience less depression and fewer alcohol-related problems.

Married couples feel less loneliness and stress because they have a partner to confide in.

Married people have larger support networks and enjoy higher levels of social support than their unmarried peers.

Married people seem to get better treatment from doctors, both in the hospital and after they are released.

The principle author of the study, Dr Aino Lammintausta also said "Unmarried people have been shown to be more likely to suffer from depression, and earlier studies show that depression has an impact on mortality due to cardiac and circulatory diseases."

Lower adherence to secondary preventive medications such as daily aspirin, cholesterol-lowering statins and medications to control high blood pressure amongst the unmarried may have an adverse effect on long-term health prognosis.

The scientists concluded that the reasons marriage or cohabitation may protect people from heart attack requires further research to establish a cause-and-effect relationship between marital status and heart attack incidence and survival.

So now we know the truth to the classic saying 'Marriage and love is about finding the one person who makes your heart complete." Go ahead, give your heart to your supportive spouse and the next time you say, 'My true love hath my heart', you can rest easy for you know your heart is in good hands!!!!

Source: Medindia

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