The phrase dying of a broken heart could prove all too true as new research has revealed that being married may actually reduce the risk of dying from serious heart conditions.
A study undertaken by Ashton University and published by the British Heart Foundation revealed that women with heart failure actually have a better chance at survival from serious heart conditions if they have tied the knot, compared to those who are single.
Meanwhile, widowed and divorced men with a heart condition were found to be more likely to die from their condition than women who have the same marital status.
The impacts of marital status were studied through research of 1,816,230 people who were admitted to hospitals in the north of England suffering from a heart attack, heart failure or atrial fibrillation – the most common form of abnormal heart rhythm – between 2000 and 2014.
Researchers were able to see how marital status or gender may affect the long term risk of dying from these life threatening conditions over a 14 year period.
Through analysis of data it was revealed the health of men whose spouses have died was severely impacted, with widowers who suffer a heart attack 11 per cent more likely to die than women who have been widowed.
Similar findings were discovered amongst widowed men who suffered heart failure (10 per cent) and AF (13 per cent) compared to widows with the same conditions.
This was a stark difference to single men who were recorded as having a 13 per cent lower risk of death compared to single women. Meanwhile, among married people with AF, men had a 6 per cent higher risk of dying than women.
Speaking about the results, Dr Rahul Potluri, who led the study, said the research plays a vital role in the health of men and women by not only helping identify people in need of extra support but also help improve the way support is provided.
His comments were echoed by British Heart Foundation Associate Medical Director Professor Metin Avkiran who explained how important it is to have necessary assistance in times of hardship.
“Heart attack, atrial fibrillation and heart failure can all cut life short,” he explained. “These findings suggest that widowed or divorced men, and single women, may be most in need of support in order to help minimise their individual risk of dying from these conditions.”
Avkiran added: “Nobody should feel they have to face their condition alone. Regardless of your marital status, whether you are man or woman, it’s important to know there is an abundance of support out there for you.”
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