Can your love life affect your heart?

DENVER -- It’s a happy Valentine’s Day for 92-year-old Rudy Cadorna and his 89-year-old wife, Eileen.  “I bought her a card and a box of candy,” Rudy said.

“Every time I pass his chair I give him a kiss, and the grandchildren keep saying get a room!” Eileen said with a laugh.

The Lakewood couple got married 41 years ago, and they are still having fun. They believe their solid marriage has contributed to their long lives. “We don`t argue or anything, so  that helps our heart,” Rudy said.

Doctors agree, there’s something to that.

Dr. Sameer Mehta, an interventional cardiologist at Rose Medical Center, explains that when a person is in a strained relationship, they can experience an increase in heart rate and an increase in blood pressure.

“People who have bad relationships, or multiple broken relationships, have an increased risk of dying and of having heart attacks. So we think the reverse is true,  that the people who maintain good  loving relationships hopefully tend to  live longer,” Dr. Mehta said.

So how deep is the connection between love and heart health? Dr. Mehta says patients have actually died from a broken heart after losing a loved one.  “The body, without having a true heart attack, does everything to mimic a heart attack,” he said.

Rudy and Eileen don’t want that. They believe they have the secret to a long marriage and a long life. “Being honest with your wife, and do the things she tells you do,” Rudy said with a laugh.

February is Heart Month. Doctors say take some time to put aside the stress of daily life and focus on what makes you happy.