A good marriage means "having the support that makes you more compliant with therapy," he said. "Also, you are more likely to go see a physician if you are not feeling well."
The study included a rather special group of men, Goldbourt noted. "I doubt greatly that it is something special about Israel that creates the reported relationship," he said. "If anything, the correct question could be: is there something about a migrant population that would create such a relationship?"
Most of the men (86 percent) were immigrants, some of whom arrived before the state of Israel was created, Goldbourt said. "A not inconsiderable proportion of these men had migrated from states of personal persecution and economic hardships," he said. "I don't know whether that would have something to do with the finding."
Goldbourt said he does not know of a similar study of women. "Certainly, such a study would be of great interest," he said.
"There are some suggestions that it is the same for women," Lackland said. "If you are in a good relationship, it goes both ways. Social support is better in a good relationship."
The risk factors for stroke are listed by the American Heart Association.
SOURCES: Uri Goldbourt, Ph.D., professor, epidemiology and preventive medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel; Daniel Lackland, Ph.D., professor and director, graduate training, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston; Feb. 24, 2010, presentation, American Stroke Association annual stroke conference, San Antonio
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