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Sunday, 3 February 2013

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Government Gazette

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.

 

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