Being married makes for a healthy heart, while being divorced or widowed is linked to a higher rates of cardiovascular diseases, according to a study presented at the American College of Cardiology conference. The study covers 3.5 million people.
"These findings certainly shouldn’t drive people to get married, but it’s important to know that decisions regarding who one is with, why, and why not may have important implications for vascular health," said lead author Carlos Alviar, cardiology fellow at New York University Langone Medical Center.
Suzanne Steinbaum, of the Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, who was not involved in the study, said, "The study demonstrates that other risk factors, such as smoking and obesity, hypertension, diabetes and being sedentary also increases with being divorced or widowed," adding, "As married people are more likely to help each other stay healthy, by making sure their spouse eats well, exercises, takes medications and helps in attending medical appointments, they tend to have less risk for heart disease."
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The study further revealed that the health association was strongest in people under the age of 50. The patients in the study came from a US database of 3.5 million people who paid $100 to be part of a screening program. Participants came from all 50 states from 2003 to 2008.