Want to Avoid Cardiovascular Disease? Get Married

All of you guys out there on the fence -- get married.  I know, I know, I'm with a man who waited 10-and-a- half years to do it.  But if you believe all the studies, you'll live longer.  And now you're less likely to get cardiac disease (I guess that makes sense) as well.

According to newswise.com, "Analysis of surveys of more than 3.5 million American men and women, administered at some 20,000 health centers across the country — believed to be the largest analysis of its kind ever performed — found that married people, regardless of age, sex, or even cardiovascular risk factors, had significantly less chances of having any kind of cardiovascular disease than those who were single, divorced or widowed."

The study went even further.  newswise.com reports it found:

  •  Being married carried a 5 percent lower risk of having any cardiovascular disease than being single 
  •  Widowed and divorced people were, respectively, 3 percent and 5 percent, more likely to suffer from any kind of cardiovascular disease, including peripheral artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm, and coronary artery disease
  • Younger married people, those under age 50, had a 12 percent lower odds of disease than younger single people 
  • Older couples, between the ages of 51 and 60, had 7 percent reduced risk, while those above 60 had approximately 4 percent lower odds of disease
And for risk factors for the diseases?  Smoking was highest among divorced people (at 31 percent) and lowest in widowed people (at 22 percent); and obesity was most common in single and divorced people (at 31 percent and 30 percent, respectively). Hypertension, diabetes and being sedentary were most common in widowed people (at 77 percent, 13 percent, and 41 percent, respectively.)

So what does this mean?  Certainly, marriage is not all wine and roses.  

But for some time studies have found that marriage makes you healthier both physically and mentally (I guess, that's only if you have a good marriage!). 

"Our survey results clearly show that when it comes to cardiovascular disease, marital status does indeed matter,” senior study investigator and NYU Langone cardiologist Jeffrey Berger, MD, MS, director of cardiovascular thrombosis programs and an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, Leon H. Charney Division of Cardiology, tells newswise.com. Berger adds that his team’s study results, which involved study participants whose age ranged from 21 to 99, suggest that clinicians need to pay attention to marital status when evaluating patients for heart problems. “If one of my patients is recently widowed or divorced, I’m increasingly vigilant about examining that patient for signs of any type of cardiovascular disease and depression,” he says.


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