Absence May Make the Heart Grow Fonder, but Marriage Makes It Beat Longer—Especially for Men
Dear Health Men: I’ve heard that being married improves one’s health. Sounds good, but is it really true?
A: Regardless of your feelings about marriage, you may want to give it a try—especially if you’re concerned about your health. Researchers at New York University studied 3.5 million people and found that married people have lower risks of vascular disease, coronary artery disease, aneurisms, and other heart-related conditions than those who are divorced, single, or widowed.
Interestingly, the connection between marriage and heart health is strongest in those under 50. According to Carlos Alviar, the study’s lead author and a cardiology fellow at New York University Langone Medical Center, married folks under 50 had 12 percent lower risk of any type of heart disease than single people as a whole. However, the marriage advantage decreased with age: those 51 to 60 were seven percent less likely than single people to develop heart disease, and those 61 and older were four percent less likely. For all age groups, widowers were slightly better off than those who’d been divorced or had never married.
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