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How to Live Longer: Be Married

April 13, 2014
Plain English Version

Live longer MarryMarried people are more likely to be heart-healthy than single, divorced or widowed people.

That is the finding of a large study funded by a health screening company. The average age of the people in the study was 64.  Nearly two-thirds were white.

With regard to any heart-related disease, the study found:

  • Married people had a 5 percent lower risk, compared with single people.
  • Married people under age 50 had a 12 percent lower risk, compared with single people.
  • Widowed people had a 3 percent higher risk, compared with married people.
  • Divorced people had a 5 percent higher risk, compared with married people.

Of all the groups, smoking was highest among the divorced and lowest among the widowed. Obesity was most common in the single and divorced. The widowed had the highest rates of high blood pressure and diabetes.

Experts are not sure of the reasons for the results. A cardiologist said, “It might be that if someone is married, they have a spouse who encourages them to take better care of themselves.” Another expert said, “You may be more willing to follow up with medical appointments and be more willing to take drugs, diet and exercise if you have a spouse.”

Some married people maybe surprised by these findings.

Source: The Arizona Republic                                                                                  March 28, 2013

 

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