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Ahhh Amore! Marriage Improves Heart Attack Survivability for Men

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Men may be from Mars and women from Venus, but as it turns out, being married to Venus is much more than a man simply being lucky enough to have love, beauty, and brains wrapped up in a sexy housecoat greeting him each morning over coffee.

Having Venus around in the morning is also a very good thing for a man’s heart health. It’s long been accepted that the love of a good women and a great marriage or relationship is particularly good for heart health. People who are happily married – please note the emphasis is on “happy” and not just “married” – have lower rates of heart disease than their single counterparts and generally live longer. According to new research hot off the presses from Canada, it appears that marriage may also give men an edge when it comes to surviving heart attacks.

Now, I know what you’re thinking; we women truly are amazing and fantastic – that goes without saying. But, how does our mere presence improve a man’s outcome when it comes to heart attacks.

According to research study lead author Dr. Clare Atzema of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences or ICES, the answer is simple. Married men have better survivability rates when it comes to heart attacks simply because they make it to the hospital sooner.

That’s right ladies – a good woman uses her sweet voice of encouragement until she finally ‘persuades’ her little Mars warrior into surrendering to the inevitable and seeking medical assistance. Of course, the earlier medical treatment is received, the greater the chance of survival from a heart attack. Hence the fact that we daughters of Venus are responsible for helping our man walk away on the winning side of his heart attack battle.

The conclusion that marriage increases a man’s survivability from a heart attack was reached after researchers examined data of 4,403 heart attack patients in Ontario, Canada. Researchers found that a little less than half the heart attack patients received emergency care within the first two hours after symptoms first presented. Of the remaining patients, researchers found that married patients fared much better with 75.3 percent making their way to the hospital within six hours compared to only 67.9 percent of single men.

Divorced and widowed men fared slightly better than single men at 68.5 and 70.8 percent respectively. Researchers theorize that married men made it to the emergency room sooner than their single counterparts because their wives persuaded them to seek treatment earlier than they would have on their own.

It would be nice to say that marriage improves a woman’s chances of surviving a heart attack as well. While it would be nice to say that, unfortunately the converse simply isn’t true. When it comes to surviving a heart attack, having Mr. Mars around, no matter how perfect he might be, won’t get Venus to the hospital any sooner. When it comes to caregiving, women need to remember to take their own advice and seek medical attention immediately if they suspect a heart attack.

Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., Marriage and Heart Health: Is Your Marriage a Cardiovascular Boost or Bust Factor?, Psychology Today,01 Sept 2008, http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/heart-health/200809/marriage-and-heart-health

Canadian Medical Association Journal (2011, July 18). Married men seek treatment sooner for heart attacks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2011/07/110718121551.htm

Reviewed July 27, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Shannon Koehle

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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