heart rhythmPeople living with any of the three biggest risk factors for heart disease – high cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes – we’re found to have an increased chance of survival if they were married, researchers from the Aston School of Medicine have found.

People with high cholesterol were 16% more likely to be alive at the end of the study if they were married, while the same was true for people living with diabetes (14%) and high blood pressure (10%), compared to singletons. 

In the study, researcher looked at the survival of people who had the three main risk factors for heart disease - high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. They used a database of over one million patients, making it one of the largest studies of its kind.

While the link between increased survival and marriage is not fully understood, researchers believe that spousal support may be a key factor behind the results. Additionally, the researchers believe that people might be better at managing the problems caused by the risk factors when they have 

The research was presented at the British Cardiovascular Society conference in Manchester.

The data for this new research comes from the Algorithm for Comorbidities, Associations, Length of stay and Mortality (ACALM) study, which includes over a million hospital patients in the United Kingdom from between January 2000 and March 2013. The research was presented at the British Cardiovascular Society conference in Manchester.

Commenting on the study Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director of the British Heart Foundation, said: “The relationships we develop are not only important for our well-being and a living fulfilling life, but it seems marriage is associated with a longer life too.

“The take-home message is that our social interactions, as well as medical risk factors such as high blood pressure, are important determinants of both our health and well-being.”