Married People More Likely Than Singles Or Divorced To Survive Heart Attacks

By R. Siva Kumar - 10 Jun '16 10:38AM

Those who are married can take heart, for a new study in Britain shows that married couples can survive heart attacks and leave the hospital much earlier than singles.

"Our results should not be a cause for concern for single people who have had a heart attack," said study co-author Dr. Nicholas Gollop, a clinical research fellow in cardiology at the University of East Anglia. "But they should certainly be a reminder to the medical community of the importance of considering the support a heart attack survivor will get once they're discharged," Gollop added.

Marriage tends to provide mental and physical support that helps people to get back their health faster and better.

Experts studied more than 25,000 patients who were diagnosed with heart attacks between January 2000 and March 2013. Over 60 percent of the people studied were men with an average age of 67.

It was not the singles but the divorced patients who were 6 percent more likely to die during the seven to eight years after the incident.

"We hypothesize that psychosocial factors associated with divorce, such as depression, anxiety and stress, increase the risk of dying after a heart attack," said study co-author Dr. Rahul Potluri, founder of the Algorithm for Comorbidities, Associations, Length of stay and Mortality (ACALM) Study Unit that conducted the research.

Marriage can save lives even after the attack.

"Most deaths occur before people even reach a hospital or emergency medical services," said Dr. Joon Lee, a cardiologist and director of the Heart and Vascular Institute at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "People often don't recognize the symptoms and worry that they will turn out to have indigestion and get embarrassed. This is where a spouse can motivate the patient to present earlier rather than waiting several hours - that can be the difference between life and death."

The findings were presented at the British Cardiovascular Society's Annual Conference in Manchester.

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