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Marriage: A powerful heart drug in short supply
Date:3/6/2012

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.


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Contact: Daniel Fowler
pubinfo@asanet.org
202-527-7885
American Sociological Association
Source:Eurekalert

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