Married people have a better chance of surviving a stroke, study says

By: Sean Dowling

A long, stable marriage may increase chances of survival after a stroke.

That's according to new research in the Journal of The American Heart Association. It's the first study to see how marriage is related to stroke survival in America.

Duke University researchers found surprising results over an 18-year period. Mainly, the risks of dying after a stroke were 71% greater for adults who never married compared to continuously married adults. For divorced or widowed patients, the risks were 23% and 25% greater respectively. In those divorced or widowed more than once, the risks of dying after a stroke were 39% and 40% greater respectively.

Researchers say the findings don't prove a cause-and-effect relationship, but they do stress the importance of "social support." A spouse can provide emotional support and remind stroke victims to take important medications.

The sample included 2,351 adults aged 41 and older.

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