Marriage can lower heart attack, stroke risks

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New Delhi:

Relationships are important for one’s happiness and emotional well being. Whether you are married or searching for a partner, it can affect your health. The matter of the heart can lower the risks of heart problems, a study says.

According to a research by Keele University in the UK, marriage can help lower the risks of heart diseases or strokes.

Considered as the largest study, the researchers drew on past research that involved more than 2 million people aged between 42 and 77 from Europe, Scandinavia, North America, the Middle East, and Asia.

Is marriage related to cardiovascular diseases?

Analysis revealed that those who were widowed, divorced or never married were at heightened risk of developing cardiovascular disease and coronary artery heart disease. Not being married was also associated with a heightened risk of dying from both coronary heart disease and stroke.

The analysis further showed that divorced was associated with a 35 per cent higher risk of developing heart disease for both men and women, while widowers of both sexes were 16 per cent more likely to have a stroke.

What about the unmarried?

While there was no difference in the risk of death following a stroke between the married and the unmarried, this was not the case after a heart attack, the risk of which was significantly higher, around 42 per cent, among those who had never married.

About 80 per cent of cardiovascular diseases can be attributed to well known risk factors like age, sex, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and diabetes. However, it is not clear what influences the remaining 20 per cent.

No information was provided on same sex partnerships or the quality of marriage.

The researchers suggested that future research should focus around whether marital status is a surrogate marker for other adverse health behaviour or cardiovascular risk profiles that underlies our reported findings or whether marital status should be considered as a risk factor by itself.

The study was published in the journal Heart. 

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