- Najja Parker The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
If you’re suffering from heart disease, there may be one thing that could up your chances for survival: marriage. According to a new study, people who are married can better bear the sickness than singles.
Researchers from the Aston Medical School in the U.K., recently conducted an experiment, which was published in the European Society of Cardiology, to determine how a person’s marital status could affect the disease.
To do so, they pulled data from the Algorithm for Comorbidities, Associations, Length of Stay and Mortality to assess more than 900,000 patients, who were married, single, widowed or divorced and hospitalized in England from 2000 to 2013. The individuals each had cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and some had previously suffered a heart attack.
About 25,000 had previously had a heart attack, more than 168,000 had high blood pressure, about 53,000 had high cholesterol and about 68,000 had Type 2 diabetes.
Of those who’d had heart attacks, married patients were 14 percent more likely to survive the event than singles. Married participants with high blood pressure had a 10 percent higher survival rate. Those married with high cholesterol had a 16 percent higher survival rate, and married individuals with diabetes had a 14 percent survival rate.
"Marriage, and having a spouse at home, is likely to offer emotional and physical support on a number of levels ranging from encouraging patients to live healthier lifestyles, helping them to cope with the condition and helping them to comply to their medical treatments,” lead author Paul Carter said in a statement. “Our findings suggest that marriage is one way that patients can receive support to successfully control their risk factors for heart disease, and ultimately survive with them."
Scientists suggested that doctors provide necessary support to patients who are at risk for heart disease by giving their spouse, friends or family the proper tools to help with recovery. They also encouraged holistic treatments, support groups and rehabilitation courses.
"It's important that patients with these dangerous, but preventable, risk factors follow the lifestyle and medication advice of their doctors,” Carter said, “to limit this risk, and social support networks are vital in doing so.”