In a study conducted by the New York University’s Lagone Medical Center, it was found that married couples had a lowered risk for cardiovascular disease, by as much as five percent, compared to single, divorced or widowed people.
Around 3.5 million Americans from 50 states took part in the research from 2003 to 2008. The findings were presented at the meeting of the American College of Cardiology’s heart disease prevention committee in Washington.
“A spouse can help keep doctor’s appointments and provide transportation, making for easier access to health care services,” explains Dr. Jeffrey Berger, a senior member in the study.
In fact, the younger the married couple, the better their heart health is. They were 12 percent less likely to develop heart disease if they were below 50 years old versus younger single couples.
The risk for peripheral arterial disease, as well as cerebrovascular disease, both involved with blood supply to vital organs, are also significantly decreased by 19 percent and nine percent respectively.
On the other hand, widowed people were three percent more likely to develop heart disease. Most of those divorced and widowed were smokers. Majority of those single or divorced were obese, and widowed individuals had an altogether higher propensity for developing diabetes and hypertension.
Said Dr. Carlos Alviar, cardiologist and the lead in the study, “These findings should certainly not drive people to get married, but it is important to know decisions regarding who one is with, why, and why not may have important implications for vascular health.”