Reuters 20 Sept 2013
More evidence that marriage may benefit overall health comes from findings that in the first year after having blocked blood vessels leading to the heart cleared, married patients fared much better than their unmarried counterparts.
Even after researchers adjusted for other cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking, family history and high cholesterol, unmarried patients were more than twice as likely to die and to experience major cardiovascular events like heart attacks, in the year following the procedure, known as angioplasty.
Heart patients need a lot of support, and their care does not end in the hospital, the study’s senior author, Dr. Ron Waksman of the MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., said. “The implication is if you do not have someone to take care of you, you should be flagged for special care.”
Previous research has found an apparent health benefit from marriage, but it is poorly understood and the results are not always consistent. For instance, bad marriages have been linked to heightened stress hormones and inflammation, both of which raise risks for heart disease and other illnesses.