If you’re going to undergo heart surgery, your survival chances are better if you’re married, a new study shows.
Published in the March issue of Journal of Health and Social Behavior, the study found married adults who undergo heart surgery are more than three times as likely to survive the next three months as single people.
The findings were true for both men and women.
The protective benefit of marriage continues for up to five years, and the hazard of death was about twice as great for the unmarried as it was for the married patients, researchers found.
The study involved 500 patients undergoing elective or emergency coronary bypass surgery.
Married patients had a lower smoking rate and a more positive outlook going into the surgery, according to Ellen Idler, a sociologist at Emory University and lead author of the study.
“The findings underscore the important role of spouses as caregivers during health crises,” Idler said in a written statement. “And husbands were apparently just as good at caregiving as wives.”