Your Mate May Be Good Medicine – Health Psychology

Your Mate May Be Good Medicine

This finding comes from a study published in Health Psychology in which researchers followed 225 men and women who had undergone CABO between 1987 and 1990. One year after surgery, the participants were asked to rate their satisfaction with their spouse. After making statistical adjustments for age, sex, education, depression, tobacco use and other factors that influence survival in people with coronary artery disease, the researchers discovered that happily married women were three times more likely than unmarried women or women in unsatisfactory relationships to survive long term.

STATE OF THE UNION If you are a happily married woman, you might like to give your husband a few extra big hugs after you read this, esp if you have had coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG). Thanks to your good relationship, you are much more likely to be alive 15 years after your surgery than an unmarried woman.

The study authors concluded that for women, marital satisfaction may be as important as traditional cardiac risk factors for long-term survival following CABG. According to principal author Kathleen King, PhD, loving spouses likely encourage healthy behaviours that lower risk and increase long-term survival, such as quitting smoking and josing weight. She also suggested that happily married patients may be more motivated to care for themselves in order to continue enjoying the benefits of their good relationship.

Married men fared well, too, with 83 per cent of happy husbands still alive a decade-and-a-half after heart surgery. But the quality of their marriage was less important to their survival.

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