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Married people less likely to have cardiovascular problems
Date:3/28/2014

er adds that his team's study results, which involved study participants whose age ranged from 21 to 99, suggest that clinicians need to pay attention to marital status when evaluating patients for heart problems. "If one of my patients is recently widowed or divorced, I'm increasingly vigilant about examining that patient for signs of any type of cardiovascular disease and depression," he says.

Dr. Berger says more research is needed to better understand the precise reasons why marital status affects risk of heart disease, but suggested that a pairing such as marriage offers an emotional and physical support system during times of illness and general health. "Married people can look after each other, making sure their spouse eats healthy, exercises regularly, and takes medication as prescribed," he says. "A spouse can also help keep doctors' appointments and provide transportation, making for easier access to health care services."

One of the other important results to come out of the research, according to lead study investigator and NYU Langone cardiology fellow Carlos L. Alviar, MD, is offering clinicians better insight into their patients, particularly how marital status can change their risk of heart disease at different stages in life, from when they get married, when they divorce or become widowed.

Dr. Alviar also points out that the study, an analysis of health center heart-related survey data collected from 2004 through 2008, is particularly important because it is large enough to offer reliable and statistically valid results on marital status' link to disease and accounted for other known predictors of heart disease. "Patients across the country were monitored through physical exams and imaging tests for different kinds of cardiovascular disease, but also for such risk factors as blood pressure, obesity, smoking history, family history of disease, lack of exercise, blood cholesterol levels, and diabetes," Alviar says. "Most ot
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Contact: Allison Clair
allison.clair@nyumc.org
212-404-3753
NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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