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Want to prevent a heart attack? Say ‘I do’

marriedFor all the stresses of married life, you may be surprised that new research suggests marriage can actually help you avoid a heart attack.

The study, which collected data from 15,300 people who suffered heart attacks between 1993 and 2002, found that single or unmarried men and women were 58 to 66 percent more likely than married men, and single or unmarried women were 60 to 65 percent more likely than married women, to have a heart attack.

Why? One possible reason for the increase in the risk may be that single or unmarried men and women have poorer health and may have less social support, which promotes health.Married people may also have two incomes, providing additional financial stability. Single or unmarried people may also be more likely to ignore preventive measures, such as taking prescribed medications.

Whether you’re single or married, though, it’s important to keep up with your regular health screenings and checkups and talk to your doctor about any heart risk factors you may have, such as smoking or poor eating habits.