It seems that when couples vow to be together through sickness and health, they may face less sickness than their single friends. Research from Finland found that married people, both men and women, are at a reduced risk for heart attacks.
Published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, the study focused on nine years of medical records of people over 35 in four different regions of Finland. They discovered that unmarried men had experienced acute cardiac syndromes between 58 and 66 percent more often than married men and unmarried women experienced acute cardiac syndromes up to 65 percent more frequently than married women.
The most startling differences were when it came to 28-day mortality rates. Unmarried men suffered from cardiac issues up to 168 percent more often than married men and single women suffered between 71 and 175 percent more than married women. These rates applied to all age groups.
The study’s authors think there could be a number of reasons for these stark differences. First, people who are unhealthy may simply be more likely to stay unmarried even after divorce. The social support that those in marriages receive may also contribute to their health. And having two incomes often gives a person more access to good health care. In in the event of a cardiac event, a person’s partner may likely be on hand to call for help earlier than a single person. The last possibility? The nagging you give to your partner—about exercise, healthy eating and taking the right medications—may ultimately be what saves someone.