Bachelors are at greater risk from heart failure says new study
Men in lifelong relationships have greater long-term survival for heart failure than men who never marry, according to new research from the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
The longitudinal study led by senior researcher Dr David Kao draws on data from 6800 American adults added 45-84. The researchers compared survival rates for 94 men from when heart failure was first diagnosed, and their marital status over an average follow-up of five years.
They found that men who had never been married were more than twice as likely to die within five years of diagnosis than women of any marital status.
Lifelong bachelors were around two times more likely to die than men who were married, but if they were widowed, divorced or separated, there was no difference in the risk of dying compared to married men.
"Non-medical factors, such as relationship history, can have a significant impact on the course of heart failure," Dr Kao said.
"Furthermore, these factors may not carry the same importance for all groups; in this case, relationship history appears to be much more important in men than women. Recognition of these factors may help identify new interpersonal strategies that could help improve the ability of patients to cope with heart failure."
Dr Kao could not explain why marriage helped men survive longer after developing heart failure.
"At present, we have not identified precisely what these effects are, but they could include health-seeking behaviors, socioeconomic and family support in older age, or differences in factors like frailty and nutrition, and mood."
The findings were due to be presented at the American College of Cardiology conference in New Orleans from March 4-6.
"Social determinants of health are increasingly recognised as important contributors to the risk of heart failure and mortality among individuals with established heart failure," said Dr Greg Fonarow, director of the Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center and co-chief of the UCLA division of cardiology in Los Angeles.
"Social determinants of health are increasingly recognised as important contributors to the risk of heart failure and mortality among individuals with established heart failure," Fonarow said.
"Medical therapies, when prescribed and adhered to, can markedly reduce the risk of mortality in men and women with heart failure," he said.
Heart disease is the No.1 killer of men in Australia
The Australian Men's Health Forum created the Know Your Man Facts Heart Health toolkit to help Men's Health Champions bring greater awareness to heart health and what men in particular can do to reduce their risks of a fatal incident.
30 men are killed a day in Australia from heart disease and 4 in 5 are aged under 64.
Learn more about this presentation and key facts about men and heart health.
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Push-ups and effective way to measure heart health in men (AMHF 2019)
Aussie Fit repeats with Heart Health Goals (AMHF 2021)
Research: Marital status and risk of cardiovascular diseases: a systematic review and meta-analysis" - Heart journal (2019)
Risk of death from heart failure might be higher for lifelong bachelors (UPI 2023)