Report: Married Couples Have Fewer Heart Problems

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 03/31/2014 | 10:00 AM EDT

Researchers say love can do wonders for the heart, literally

With love sometimes comes heartbreak, but marriage can do it a world of good, according to new research. A study of more than 3.5 million Americans reveals that married people are less likely than singles, divorced or widowed folks to suffer any type of heart or blood vessel problem.

Such findings were true at any age, gender, and regardless of other heart disease risk factors they may have had such as high cholesterol or diabetes. To obtain results, researchers used health questionnaires that people filled out when they sought various types of tests in community settings around the country from Ohio company, Life Line Screening Inc.


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The results are from people who sought screening from 2003 through 2008. Their average age was 64, nearly two-thirds were female and 80 percent were white. Respondents gave information on smoking, diabetes, family history, obesity, exercise and other factors, and researchers had blood pressure and other health measures.


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The study also found that marriage seemed to do the most good for those under age 50; they had a 12-percent lower risk of heart-related disease than single people their age. Additionally, it found that smoking, a major heart risk, was highest among divorced people and lowest in widowed ones. Obesity was most common in those single and divorced. Widowed people had the highest rates of high blood pressure, diabetes and inadequate exercise.


Such results support the argument that a person’s heart risks can’t be solely judged by physical measures. Wonder if this will encourage more people to walk down the aisle…

 (Photo: Allison Michael Orenstein/Getty Images)

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