Studies: Marriage benefits blood pressure, while death of partner increases heart attack risk

The New York Times “Well” blog reports that research published in The Journal of Hypertension suggests that marriage may be beneficial for an individual’s blood pressure. Investigators came to this conclusion after studying “325 adults who were followed over two years as part of a randomized controlled trial.”

The researchers concluded, “Being married is independently associated with a greater likelihood of nocturnal dipping and with lower night-time SBP (systolic blood pressure) among individuals participating in a controlled dietary intervention; the association was particularly strong in married men.”

On the other side of the coin, NBC News reports that a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that the death of a partner may be linked to an increased risk of a heart attack in the following 30 days.

Researchers studied “more than 100,000 seniors.” The investigators “found the risk of heart attack jumped twofold in the 30 days following the loss of a partner.” Meanwhile, “stroke risk rose 2.4 times over that of similarly aged people who had not sustained a loss.”

HealthDay reports that “the cardiovascular gap observed between the two groups started to narrow significantly after the first 30 days.” The researchers found, when comparing “heart status at the 90-day mark and again one year out,” that “the two groups were found to face more or less comparable risk.”

Enter your email to subscribe to Dr. Walt's blogs.

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Dr. Walt Larimore will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.