Marriage might not always feel like it can save you from heart disease – some even blame their spouse for their high levels of stress! But it seems that in the end, living with a partner can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, say, researchers. The study was recently published in the medical journal Heart.
They conducted a massive study and analyzed data from over 2 million people of ages between 42 and 77, over the past 20 years. They studied data from people of different nationalities in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia.
Results showed that having a spouse reduces the risk of both stroke and heart disease.
Researchers compared the married people to the ones divorced, widowed, or never married. The ones that didn’t have a partner were 42% more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, and 16% more likely to have coronary heart disease. The risk of dying was also increased in non-married people: 42% more likely to die from coronary heart disease and 55% more likely to die from stroke.
Women were less susceptible to stroke, but the rest of the results were similar for both unmarried men and women.
Being Married – An Observational Study
Chun Wai Wong, a researcher at the department of cardiology at Royal Stoke Hospital (Britain), and leader of the research team concludes:
“These findings may suggest that marital status should be considered in the risk assessment for cardiovascular disease.”
What the research shows is that living together, married or unmarried, could have a positive impact on people’s health. Wong and his colleagues reviewed 34 studies but did not encounter couples out of wedlock or same-sex couples, so they couldn’t say if any kind of arrangement would be equivalent to being wed.
The problem with the study is that it was observational and not controlled because scientists cannot do that on humans to see the cause and effect. So, researchers theorized on why marriage protects people from heart disease or stroke.
It might have to do with knowing that you have someone by your side. A spouse can take care of you when you’re in need. Being married might help with the morale and neural stimulation. Early research shows that people living in couples have a low rate of dementia.
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere