Being married makes for a healthy heart, while being divorced or widowed is linked to higher rates of cardiovascular disease, according to a study of 3.5 million people released today (March 28, 2014), the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website reports.
The study is the largest of its kind to show heart health is linked to marital status, and was presented at the American College of Cardiology conference.
People who were divorced had a higher likelihood of any vascular disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm, coronary artery disease, and cerebrovascular disease when compared to single people, according to the study.
Widowers showed slightly higher odds of any vascular disease and coronary artery disease, also when compared to people who had never been married.
"The study demonstrates that other risk factors, such as smoking and obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and being sedentary also increases with being divorced or widowed," said Suzanne Steinbaum, director, women and heart disease, at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.