Marriage May Protect Against Cardiovascular Issues
The most commonly cited risk factors for cardiovascular disease are age, sex, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, and diabetes. Now a recent study suggests that marriage may protect against the development of heart disease and stroke.
For their study, researchers from the University of Keele in England examined data from 34 studies chosen from a pool of 225 that had been published between 1963 and 2015. All of the studies evaluated the association between marital status and the risk of cardiovascular disease. In total, the studies included more than 2 million people between the ages of 42 and 77.
After examining the data, the researchers found that people who were never married, divorced, or widowed were at a 42% higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a 16% higher risk of having a stroke than those who were married. Widowers of both sexes were 16% more likely to have a stroke.
The researchers also found that divorce was associated with a 35% higher risk of developing heart disease and a 16% higher risk of stroke, compared to those who remained married. In addition, the risk of death following a stroke was 42% higher among those who had never married.
The study was published online ahead of print on June 19, 2018, in the journal Heart.