Married People Have Less Heart Disease than Single People
Researchers from the New York University School of Medicine have found that married people have less cardiovascular disease.
Heart disease or cardiovascular disease includes atherosclerosis, coronary disease peripheral artery disease, cerebrovascular disease and abdominal aortic aneurysm.
The researchers analyzed health surveys of more than 3.5 million men and women from 20,000 medical centers throughout the U.S.
The research found that both men and woman among all ages had fewer cardiovascular diseases of any kind compared with men and women who were either divorced, widowed or otherwise single.
The findings were presented at the March American College of Cardiology annual meeting Washington, D.C.
Married people under the age of 50 years old were found to have a 12% lower incidence of heart disease than those who are single. Those between 51 and 60 years old have a 7% lower incidence of heart disease, and those over the age of 60 have four percent less incidence of heart disease.
Over 80% of study participants were white and 63% of the people tested were female. Still, the researchers stressed the population size of the study was adequate to include races in the conclusion. There were more than 110,000 African-Americans, more than 71,000 Asians and more than 85,000 Hispanics (85,308) in the study. And there were more than 103,000 Native Americans as well.
Lead researcher and cardiologist Jeffrey Berger, MD – professor of medicine at NYU – clarified the study’s results:
“Our survey results clearly show that when it comes to cardiovascular disease, marital status does indeed matter. If one of my patients is recently widowed or divorced, I’m increasingly vigilant about examining that patient for signs of any type of cardiovascular disease and depression.”
While depression and other psychological/social aspects are likely at play, part of the reason single people have more heart disease may come from the fact that single people tend to have higher risk factors for heart disease than married people.
For example, more divorced people tend to smoke than married people, but smoking among widowed people is lower than married people. Obesity is also more prevalent among the single and divorced, and a sedentary lifestyle was more common among widowed people (77%).