Marriage May Protect Against Cardiovascular Disease
Although your spouse may stress you out from time to time, they are actually helping you more than you realize. Healthy relationships have been proven to boast emotional and physical benefits for both parties. When in a committed relationship, two people have the ability to communicate freely, depend on one another and share every aspect of life together. It is a part of human nature to crave companionship, thus it is expected that people would benefit from it.
But, is it too far-fetched to say married couples have a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD)? Recent research shows it is not.
A New Study
Heart published a systematic review showing the influence of marital status on cardiovascular diseases. 34 studies with over two million participants were included in the review, and the results were quite compelling. Unmarried participants, which included never married, divorced, and widowed participants, were found to be at a 42% higher risk of CVD and 16% higher risk of CHD (coronary heart disease). Divorced men and women were found to have a 35% increased risk of CHD, and widowers were associated with a 16% higher risk of stroke. The study concludes that “Marital status appears to influence CVD and prognosis after CVD…marital status should be considered in the risk assessment for CVD.”
Does Single = Danger?
If you are unmarried, there is no need to panic. Risk factors such as age, smoking and diabetes make up 80% of a person’s CVD risk; the other 20% is still unknown. Although this was the largest study to date, it did not include information on same-sex marriages, the quality of marriage, or unmarried couples who cohabitate. The authors also warn readers that they had to use different methods and adjustments across the different studies, which could have affected the results. Further research is needed to conclude whether marital status is a risk factor by itself, or whether it is a surrogate marker for other adverse health behavior.
If you have questions about your cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, or other heart issue, or if you want to schedule an appointment with one of our cardiologists, please don’t hesitate to visit our website today. Your heart is our specialty.
Marriage for the Win
The majority of a person’s risk for cardiovascular diseases is related to issues such as genetics and preexisting conditions, and a small percentage could be attributed to social factors. However, given the data from the study, it is obvious there is quite a correlation between marriage and heart health. Why might this be the case? Happily married couples tend to be less stressed than divorced or widowed individuals. Divorce and death can be emotionally and financially taxing on a person, leading to potentially endless stress. Married couples also have one another to recognize and respond to health problems, assist with medications and doctor visits and overall enhance their quality of life.