Navigation Links
Marriage: A powerful heart drug in short supply

WASHINGTON, DC, March 6, 2012 Married adults who undergo heart surgery are more than three times as likely as single people who have the same surgery to survive the next three months, a new study finds.

"That's a dramatic difference in survival rates for single people, during the most critical post-operative recovery period," says Ellen Idler, a sociologist at Emory University and lead author of the study, which appears in the March issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. "We found that marriage boosted survival whether the patient was a man or a woman."

While the most striking difference in outcomes occurred during the first three months, the study showed that the strong protective effect of marriage continues for up to five years following coronary artery bypass surgery. Overall, the hazard of mortality is nearly twice as great for unmarried as it is for married patients about to undergo the surgery.

"The findings underscore the important role of spouses as caregivers during health crises," Idler says. "And husbands were apparently just as good at caregiving as wives."

Tying the knot has been associated with longer life since 1858, when William Farr observed that marriage protected against early mortality in France. The evidence keeps accumulating that the widowed, never married, and divorced have higher risks of mortality. Much of the research, however, has looked broadly across populations during an entire lifespan, or relies only on medical records.

"We wanted to zero in on a particular window of time: a major health crisis," Idler says, "and we wanted to add the in-person element of patient interviews, in addition to the full record of their medical history and hospitalization."

The major study involved more than 500 patients undergoing either emergency or elective coronary bypass surgery. All of the study subjects were interviewed prior to surgery. Data on survival status of the patients were obtained from the National Death Index.

While the data are inconclusive for what caused the striking difference in the three-month survival rate, the interviews provided some possible clues.

"The married patients had a more positive outlook going into the surgery, compared with the single patients," Idler says. "When asked whether they would be able to manage the pain and discomfort, or their worries about the surgery, those who had spouses were more likely to say, yes."

Patients who survived more than three months were approximately 70 percent more likely to die during the next five years if they were single. An analysis of the data showed that smoking history accounted for the lower survival rates in the single patients over this longer term.

"The lower likelihood that married persons were smokers suggests that spousal control over smoking behavior produces long-term health benefits," Idler says.

When it comes to healing hearts, marriage may be powerful medicine, but it's in increasingly short supply, Idler says, which does not bode well for aging baby boomers.

Barely half of U.S. adults are currently married, the lowest percentage ever, according to the Pew Research Center.


Contact: Daniel Fowler
American Sociological Association

Related medicine news :

1. Living Together May Be Mentally Healthier Than Marriage: Study
2. Fears of Divorce May Be Keeping Many Young Couples From Marriage: Study
3. Hopkins researchers find Google Flu Trends a powerful early warning system for emergency departments
4. Using powerful MRI to track iron levels in brain could be new way to monitor progression of MS
5. Anonymization remains a powerful approach to protecting the privacy of health information
6. Exenatide (Byetta) has rapid, powerful anti-inflammatory effect, UB study shows
7. MRIs could become powerful tools for monitoring cholesteral therapy
8. Unconventional hunt for new cancer targets leads to a powerful drug candidate for leukemia
9. UBC researchers create more powerful lab-on-a-chip for genetic analysis
10. New Canadian blood pressure education program a powerful tool in fight to reduce stroke
11. Dietary inorganic nitrate may reduce heart dysfunction caused by powerful anti-cancer drug
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... located in central Michigan, have come together on Thanksgiving Day to share the ... available for viewing on the Serenity Point YouTube channel, patients displayed what they ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... and Cambridge, ON (PRWEB) , ... November 26, ... ... the availability of a real-time eReferral system for diagnostic imaging in the Waterloo ... X-rays, mammography, BMD and Nuclear Medicine tests directly from their electronic medical record ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... to discuss bioavailability and the need to integrate dose form selection in early ... with OBN, the membership organization supporting and bringing together the UK’s emerging life ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 2015 , ... PRMA Plastic Surgery is updating their record books yet again ... free flap breast reconstruction surgery! , “What an accomplishment for the PRMA team, says ... and it’s an honor to have served all of these women.” , PRMA is ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Viejo, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 ... ... users a new set of retro-fused, self-animating trailer titles with ProTrailer: Vintage. This ... style options. These classically-influenced trailer titles work with any font, giving users limitless ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... Calif. , Nov. 25, 2015  Amgen (NASDAQ: ... Biologics License Application (BLA) with the United ... for ABP 501, a biosimilar candidate to Humira ® ... adalimumab biosimilar application submitted to the FDA and represents ... Sean E. Harper , M.D., executive vice ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... WILMINGTON, N.C. , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announces the planned investment of at least $15.8 ... in Wilmington, NC . The ... services capacity to meet the growing demands of ... Wilmington site expansion will provide up ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  Henry Schein, Inc., the ... to office-based dental, medical and animal health practitioners, will ... the Henry Schein ConnectDental® Pavilion , which brings ... of open solutions designed to help any practice or ... here for a schedule of experts appearing at ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: