Marriage Is Good For Your Health, Research Reveals!

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Dr Paul Carter and colleagues at Aston Medical School recently carried out research that was presented at the British Cardiovascular Society conference and revealed that marriage is good for your health.

According to the researchers, being married boosts your survival chances if you have a major heart risk factor such as high cholesterol.

Based on their study of almost a million UK adults with either high blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes, they told the conference that a caring spouse may encourage you to look after yourself more.

Married participants fared much better than the single people, with marriage being linked to a better chance of surviving a heart attack.

But why could this be the case? Researchers suspect marriage helps buffer against big heart disease risk factors, including cholesterol and high blood pressure, and the study looked at deaths from all causes, including heart disease.

While the researchers did not test if the wedded people were in happy marriages, the studies found that men and women in their 50s, 60s and 70s with high cholesterol were 16% more likely to be alive at the end of the 14-year ACALM study if they were married rather than single.

Married people also had a survival advantage when it came to diabetes and high blood pressure.

Dr Carter suspects that it is having a special person in your life that is important, as opposed to simply getting married.

He said: “We need to unpick the underlying reasons a bit more, but it appears there’s something about being married that is protective, not only in patients with heart disease but also those with heart disease risk factors…We’re not saying that everyone should get married though…We need to replicate the positive effects of marriage and use friends, family and social support networks in the same way.”

Dr Mike Knapton, of the British Heart Foundation, said: “The take-home message is that our social interactions, as well as medical risk factors such as high blood pressure, are important determinants of both our health and wellbeing…Whether you are married or not, if you have any of the main risk factors for heart disease, then you can call upon loved ones to help you to manage them.”

Heart risk factors:

high blood pressure
high blood cholesterol
being overweight/obese
being physically inactive
family history of heart disease
age (risk goes up with age)

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By Abby Williams, Excalibur Press