Study: Being Married Lowers Risk of Heart Attack and Death

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A new study revealed that those who are married have a lower risk of having a non-fatal or fatal heart attack compared to those who are unmarried or live alone. 

Conducted by Finnish researchers and published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology, the study found that those who are not married or live alone have a significantly higher risk of heart attack. 

Married people have a "considerably better prognosis of acute cardiac events both before hospitalization and after reaching the hospital alive."

The data was collected from people over age 35 who lived in four regions of Finland over a period of 9 years. There were 15,330 acute cardiac syndromes over the course of the study, 7,703 resulting in death within a month of the initial heart attack. 

The death number was nearly the same among men and women, but the rate among unmarried men and women was different. 

Unmarried men had a 60 to 168 percent higher risk of dying after they had a heart attack, while women had a 71 to 175 percent higher risk.

Researchers believe this is because married people are more likely to receive medical help sooner. 

"It may be assumed that resuscitation or calling for help was initiated faster and more often among those married or cohabiting. We found that a larger proportion of married and cohabiting men received repercussion therapy at acute stage which may contribute to their better survival after hospitalization."

Married women were also found to be more protected from "out-of-hospital death" than married men. 

A different study, published in the European Heart Journal, found that when a spouse loses their partner to a heart attack, the surviving spouse was three times more likely to take antidepressants than in the time prior to the death. 

Men were also found to be more likely to commit suicide after losing a spouse to a heart attack.