Are Married Women Less Likely to Die from Heart Disease?

Relationships, Wellness
Married Women Heart Disease Study

Photo: Photo: Getty

We all know that married life has a lot of perks, but apparently it can also help save your life. A new study conducted by researchers out of the University of Oxford found that married women were 28 percent less likely to die from heart disease than unmarried women. Dr. Sarah Floud and her colleagues at Oxford's Cancer Epidemiology Unit took into consideration age, socio-economic status, lifestyle, and other potential outside influencers. Though it's important to note that married and single ladies had the same chance of developing the disease. But there was an obvious difference in survival rate — why?

He forces you to go to the doctor: You're sick, but don't want to go to the doctor. Your guy keeps bugging you about it, so you finally cave in and go. Does that situation sound familiar? A UCLA study published in the Osteoporosis International online journal this year found that married women who had supportive spouses had better bone strength than those who did not. Dr. Floud thinks the same thing could be at play here. Perhaps, the married women in her study sought treatment earlier on for their symptoms (which would, in turn, reduce their chances of mortality) because they had spouses that encouraged them to do so.

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He watches after you: Another possible explanation Dr. Floud cites in her findings comes from previous research on happily married couples. In quality relationships, partners not only encourage each other to take their medications and visit the doctor, but also to change their unhealthy lifestyles.

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He puts a smile on your face: Last year, researchers at Brigham Young University found that happy marriages have a preventative component that can keep you in good physical health over the years. "When spouses have a bad day, in a happy marriage, they're more likely to support each other and empathize with each other," pointed out BYU family life researcher Rick Miller. "That support reduces stress and helps buffer against a decline in health."

Sure, this is just one study from one team of doctors, but if you needed another reason to say "Yes!" this certainly is a good one.

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