I ‘Heart’ You: Marriage linked to better prognosis for cardiac issues

I ‘Heart’ You: Marriage linked to better prognosis for cardiac issues

A recent large-scale study conducted by researchers in Finland says that being married and cohabiting – especially among middle-aged couples – is associated with considerable better prognosis of acute cardiac events.

In short, marriage is good for your heart.

The study was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology and based on nearly 10 years of register data. The information driving the study included more than 15,000 acute cardiac syndrome events, with more than half resulting in death within 28 days.

Among this group, mortality rates were found to be 60 to 168 percent higher in unmarried men, and 71 to 175 percent higher in unmarried women.

So what exactly is the connection between marriage and the heart’s ability to recover from a major event? Study researchers offered the following explanations.

Overall Health

Married couples may have a heart advantage because of their health habits and social connectivity to other married couples like them.

Seniors are urged to find and acquaint themselves with other seniors. This social interaction can pay large dividends in all types of health, including mental, emotional and physical.

Early Intervention

Researchers hypothesized that married couples may be more likely than unmarried people to seek medical assistance in the case of a health issue.

A recent study agrees. It was conducted by the University of Missouri Department of Human Development and Family Studies and found that if spouses understand their partners’ disease and treatment requirements, both people’s health could improve.

Better Care

Married people may seek better treatment once in the hospital and after discharge. The study found that a larger proportion of married and cohabiting men received specialized therapy at acute stage.

This intervention has been known to contribute to better survival after hospitalization. Lower adherence to aspirin, statins or beta-blockers among the unmarried may have an adverse effect on long-term prognosis, the researchers claim.

April 15, 2014 11:49 am

Health Problems? Find the Light

Health Problems? Find the Light

Spending time outdoors during pleasant, sunny weather is a pastime enjoyed by many. New research finds that it also may be vital to senior health.

The vitamins and health benefits provided by the sun are important for everyone to receive, especially the senior population.

And while medical professionals know that sun exposure is crucial for elders, specific recommendations for just how much are hard to pin down.

Skin types, time of day and geographic location all play a role in determining an optimum amount for each individual. Consult with your physician to find out what would work best for your body.

Vitamin D

The Vitamin D Council recommends that on days that you do not get enough full body sun exposure that you take a supplement to help keep your levels high.

You can also give your body a boost by eating Vitamin-D rich foods, like fatty fish, beef liver, egg yolks and fortified cereals. The council, however, urges people not to depend on food alone for their vitamin D intake.

Eye Health

The British Journal of Ophthalmology recently found that elders may have both a higher need for natural light and a harder time getting it compared to younger people.

This can lead to the lack of blue light from the sun, which usually helps the brain produce melatonin to regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycles.

This eye issue can lead to insomnia and other medical problems that can be major factors in conditions like depression and heart disease.

Don’t Overdo It

Spending too much time outdoors without protection from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light can be damaging to the eyes and skin.

Seniors are also susceptible to overheating or dehydration in warm conditions, so use your judgment when you’re trying to take advantage of the sunlight.

Avoid extremely hot and humid days that can drain your energy. On days you do go outside, drink plenty of water and mix in a few breaks inside instead of spending hours working in the garden without breaks for rest or hydration.

March 18, 2014 3:21 pm

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