Marriage is good for the heart. People who are married have lower rates of several cardiovascular diseases compared with those who are single, divorced or widowed, said a research paper to be presented at the American College of Cardiology's 63rd Annual Scientific Session in Washington. The healthy heart benefits of marriage is more pronounced before the age of 50.
"These findings certainly shouldn't drive people to get married, but it's important to know that decisions regarding who one is with, why, and why not may have important implications for vascular health," said Carlos L Alviar from New York University Langone Medical Center.
The study considered four vascular diseases - peripheral artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm and coronary artery disease - among 3.5 million people across the United States. Overall, 69.1 % (2.4 million) were married, 13 % (477,577) were widowed, 8.3 % (292,670) were single; 9 % (319,321) were divorced.
The researchers found married people were 5 % less likely to have any vascular disease compared with singles. They also had 8 %, 9 % and 19 % lower odds of abdominal aortic aneurysm, cerebrovascular disease and peripheral arterial disease respectively. The odds of coronary disease were lower in married subjects compared with those who were widowed and divorced, but this was not statistically significant when compared to single subjects.
"The association between marriage and a lower likelihood of vascular disease is stronger among younger subjects," Alviar said. For people aged 50 and younger, marriage is associated with 12 % lower odds of any vascular disease. This number drops to 7 % for people ages 51 to 60 and only 4 % for those 61 and older.
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