DENVER -- If you're single, divorced or widowed, you're likely to have more heart problems than someone who's married, according to a new study.
The results sound reasonable to Dr. Jeffrey Berger, a preventive cardiologist at NYU Lagone Medical Center who spoke with the Associated Press about the recently-completed study.
"It might be that if someone is married, they have a spouse who encourages them to take better care of themselves," Berger told the news outlet.
The average age of the study participants was 64, nearly two-thirds of them were female and 80 percent were white. Regardless of that population breakdown, the authors of the study said their results are applicable to regardless of age, sex and race.
Below are some of the study highlights:
- Married people had a 5 percent lower risk of any cardiovascular disease compared to single people
- Widowed people had a 3 percent greater risk of it and divorced people, a 5 percent greater risk, compared to married folks
- Married couples under 50 had a 12 percent lower risk of heart-related disease than single people their age
- Smoking was highest among divorced people and lowest in widowed ones
- Obesity was most common in those single and divorced
- Widowed people had the highest rates of high blood pressure, diabetes and inadequate exercise