The marriage could diminish, and even prevent, the possibility of suffering a heart attack or a stroke. This is the main conclusion of a study published this week in the journal Heart, which stresses how to keep a relationship stable might influence the risk of death associated with it.
Around 80% of cardiovascular diseases are attributed to risk factors such as age, sex, blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking and diabetes. However, it is still unknown the cause of the remaining 20%. So a group of scientists from the University of Keele in Newcastle (United Kingdom), has analyzed 225 studies published between 1963 and 2015 on the impact of marital status on cardiovascular health.
The results of the investigations carried out up to now –performed on individuals aged between 42 and 77 years old from Europe, Scandinavia, North America, Middle East and Asia– were quite varied and on the number of participants is quite limited, according to experts. Therefore, the authors selected the 34 most relevant jobs, we assayed a total of two million participants, in order to clarify this issue through a conjoint analysis.
In the study published this week, led by Breast Breast, of the University of Keele and the University of Manchester, it is suggested to include the marital status as a risk factor that influences both the likelihood of suffering heart disease, a heart attack or a stroke, such as to survive these episodes. “Being single is associated with a greater risk of suffering a cardiovascular disease”, explains to SINC Breasts. “In addition, the risk of not surviving is also increased”, stresses.
The benefits of marriage
The analysis of the data reveals that, in comparison to married people, the divorced, widowed or have never been part of a marriage have a 42% higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and 16% more in the case only of cardiac pathologies on the coronary artery. Being single is also associated with a greater risk of dying from these causes –a 42% more for coronary disease, and 55% more stroke–.
For its part, divorce is associated with a 35% higher risk of developing heart disease in both men and women. However, in the widowed of both sexes increases a 16% of having a stroke.
Despite the fact that there are no differences in the chance of death after this type of episodes between married people and those who do not share this civil status, the same is not true in the case of heart attacks. In this case, the risk of mortality is significantly higher –up to 42%– among those who have never been married.
“Until now, health specialists only collected information on the marital status as part of the social context of the patient, without taking into account the implications this may have on heart health and without considering it as a risk factor,” says Mamas. “We hope that this will change with our study and that the data is used in conjunction with the other risk factors that we already know”.
The authors caution that more studies are necessary to complete the current data. In addition, they do not have any information about same-sex couples, the quality of the marriage or cohabitation between people who are not married. “Our study only collected the data of patients who are married, divorced or widowed compared with those of the unmarried”, clarifies Breast. The expert believes that the individuals living as a couple enjoy the same benefits as those who are married.
According to the assumptions of the researchers, patients are more willing to take medications after a heart attack, if you are married, perhaps by the pressure of the spouse. They also have a greater willingness to go to rehab (which improves the sequelae of heart disease) for the same reason.
“We know that men tend to ignore the symptoms which precede this kind of accidents or attacks, such as chest pain,” explains the expert. “Normally, people only seek medical attention at the insistence of their partners, which can be life-saving,” concludes Breast.
There are several theories on why marriage may be protective of health. These include the greater speed in the recognition and response to the health problems, a follow-up to the more strict of the medication, better financial security, better welfare and better friendship networks.