Ring those wedding bells, because getting married could be good for your health, a new study suggests.
Long after the glow of your big day has faded, your marriage could actually offer some pretty impressive health benefits – boosting your chances of survival if you have a heart disease risk factor, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes.
The research, carried out by Aston Medical School in Birmingham, studied over 900,000 patients with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes and found that those who were married had a greater chance of survival.
People with high cholesterol were 16% more likely to be alive at the end of the study if they were married compared to those who were single.
Additionally married people with diabetes had a 14% higher chance of survival and those with high blood pressure were 10% more likely to be alive at the end of the study period compared to singletons.
The findings, which were presented at the British Cardiovascular Society, suggest that marriage offers a “protective effect” which study authors believe could be attributed to the increased social support that being married could provide.
Researchers believe this can lead to healthier lifestyles and increased medication compliance. In other words your other half nagging you to take your pills, book that appointment, get to the gym.
“Our research suggests that marriage offers a protective effect, which is probably down to having support in controlling the key risk factors for heart disease,” said Dr Paul Carter, lead study author based at the Algorithm for Comorbidities, Associations, Length of stay and Mortality (ACALM) study unit.
But singletons need not panic. The researchers aren’t saying that everyone should just find themselves a partner and march them down the aisle for the sake of their health, they’re merely pointing out that single people should try replicate the positive effects of marriage, particularly if they’re at risk of heart disease.
“The findings shouldn’t be seen as a reason to get married, but rather as encouragement for people to build strong support networks with their families and friends,” Dr Carter added.
So before you panic book that wedding dress appointment, remember that time spent with your BFFs could be every bit as important.
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