Although marriage is not a bed of roses, researchers belief that living in old age with a partner might actually help in warding off heart diseases and stroke.

A survey research conducted over the span of last two decades including more than two million people in between the ages of forty-four and seventy-seven found that being married considerably reduces the risk of both heart diseases and stroke. The researchers reported this in the medical journal Heart.

The study analysed ethnically differing population in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, adding more value to the results.

In comparison to the people living with spouses, the widowed, or never married or the divorced people were forty-two percent more probable towards developing cardiovascular disease and sixteen percent more likely to have coronary heart disease, the study revealed.

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The risk of dying was similarly more for the non-married, forty-two percent by coronary heart disease and fifty-five percent from stroke.

The results were same mostly both for men and women, except for stroke to which men were found more susceptible.

Four-fifths of all the heart related diseases could be attributed to proven factors like high-blood pressure, high cholesterol, advancing age, being a man, smoking and diabetes.

Marriage could in other words be a significant factor of the missing twenty percent.

More accurately, living together—with the official binding of marriage or not—is likely the operative factor.

As the study was observational rather than based on some controlled experiment—no clear deductions could be extracted as to the cause-and-effect. This leaves room to the question of why marriages may be “protective”. Researchers said in a statement that there are many different theories.

Having someone around to take care of one’s health related issues and to monitor the in-take of medicines is possibly a plus as are two pensions or incomes instead of one.

Earlier reseaches have shown that people living in couples have lesser rates of dementia.

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