Want To Reduce Your Heart Attack Risk? Get Married!

Want To Reduce Your Heart Attack Risk? Get Married!

An interesting study out of Finland has shown that being married does wonders for your heart. And we're not just talking about the pink hearts full of chocolate you see around Valentine's Day – we're talking about the ticker on the left side of your chest!

The study shows that being married appears to lower the risk of heart attacks for both men and women, and increase your chances of a healthy recovery should a heart attack strike. "Our study suggests that marriage reduces the risk of acute coronary events and death due to acute coronary events in both men and women and at all ages," said lead researcher Dr. Aino Lammintausta, of Turku University Hospital.

"Furthermore, especially among middle-aged men and women, being married and cohabiting are associated with considerably better prognosis of incident acute coronary events both before hospitalization and after reaching the hospital alive," she said. 

This study, which was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, examined information from over 15,000 people, all of whom suffered heart attacks. What was discovered was that unmarried men were 58 percent to 66 percent more likely to have a heart attack, as were 60 percent to 65 percent of single women, compared to members of married couples.

Married individuals also had a greater chance at surviving heart attacks as well. For single men, the risk of dying within 28 days of a heart attack was 60 percent to 168 percent higher than for married men. For single women, the risk of death from heart attack was 71 percent to 175 percent higher than for married women.

It's unclear why married people are better off when it comes to heart attacks. "For better or worse, marriage is associated with better cardiovascular health and a lower risk of death due to an acute coronary event," said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at UCLA.