While marriage may have a bad rap and be referred to in many negative stereotypes and connotations, it does have benefits aside from commitment, security, and happiness. According to study results from a survey done by NYU Langone Medical Center, it is also good for cardiovascular health.
The study included surveys that were administered by doctors and other health care professionals in about 20,000 different health care facilities to well over 3.5 million Americans. It also has a claim to fame because it was and still is the largest study of its kind.
The surveys were designed to ask pertinent questions related to cardiovascular health. Apparently, even though age, sex, risk factors, and other criteria were taken into consideration, the conclusion was that couples who were married had a notably lower risk of cardiovascular disease than divorced, single, and widowed persons.
When the researchers from NYU Langone presented their findings to the American College of Cardiology on March 29th in Washington DC, they presented several key factors.
- Marriage usually results in a 5% lower risk of cardiovascular disease for a couple than it does for single people.
- People who were widowed and divorced showed a 3% and 5% greater chance for contracting cardiovascular problems. Some of the common problems identified by the study included cerebrovascular problems, coronary and peripheral artery disease, and abdominal aortic aneurysms.
- Younger couples (below 50) had a 12% lower chance than young bachelor/ettes.
- Couples ranging from 51-60 had a 7% lower chance for cardiovascular disease than couples over 60, but these still showed a 4% lower chance than their single counterparts.
The most common risk factors identified in the study included :
- 31% and 22% – smoking by divorced and widowed people respectively
- 31% and 30% – obesity in divorced and widowed persons respectively
- 71% – widowed people who suffered from hypertension
- 13% – widowed people who had diabetes
- 41% – widowed people who were sedentary
According to the senior investigator, Jeffrey Berger, the study proves that marriage plays a part in cardiovascular health. While they believe that more research is needed, they are very pleased with the results since it opened the door for advancement. They hope that future research will help to pinpoint the exact reasons why marriage is good for heart health.
The team came to an educated consensus based on the study’s results.
1) Married couples encourage each other to
- Eat healthy
- Take medication
- Visit the doctor
2) Married couples provide each other with
- Emotional support
- Mental support
- Physical support