Marriage? It's good for women's hearts too
2 February DailyTelegraph
Marriage is good for women's health, not just men's, according to a
study that shows both husbands and wives are far less likely to suffer a
heart attack than their single friends.Previous research has indicated
that men gain most of the health benefit from marriage - perhaps because
their wives look after them and pester them into seeing the doctor.But a
new Finnish study has found women benefit too.
Both married men and married women have heart attack rates that are
considerably lower than single people of the same age. They are also far
more likely to survive a heart attack.
The researchers, from Turku University Hospital, looked at 15,330
incidents of 'acute cardiac syndrome' which includes heart attacks and
unstable angina over a 10 year period. Just over half resulted in death
within 28 days.
They found both single men and single women were about two thirds
more likely to suffer such an event than those who were married.
Among those who had a heart attack or developed unstable angina,
those who were single were up to two and a half times more likely to die
within a 28 day period.Writing in the European Journal of Preventive
Cardiology, the authors conceded: "We cannot exclude the possibility
that persons with poor health status may be more prone to staying
unmarried or getting divorced."
But they also believed marriage itself helped protect health, due in
part to the "social support" between husband and wife.This could have
life saving consequences. For instance, the researchers found married
people were more likely to stick to their medication, like statins or
aspirin. And married people tended to get help quicker in the event of a
heart attack, because the other rang immediately.