Apparently, the key to successful heart surgery is not the people with all the instruments inside the operating room, but instead the instrumental person waiting just outside its doors.
That's because, according to a new study from the University of Pennsylvania, married people have a much greater chance of surviving than those who are single.
It may not be the first time we've about the health benefits of strong relationships, but the results of this study are pretty startling. 1,576 people were surveyed after serious heart procedures, and the researchers found that people who were divorced, separated or widowed over 50 had a whopping 40% greater risk of death or disability two years following cardiac surgery.
"There’s always been the feeling that people who have [a person] that is supporting them tend to do better," Dr. Ashish Shah, head of heart transplantation at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, who was not associated with the study, told ABC News. "Most heart surgeons would agree that emotional stressors will complicate operations."
But why exactly does marriage make such a drastic difference? That's what researchers are trying to figure out.
More, from ABC:
Shah said ... the key will be understanding why these patients do better and seeing if there is a way to help other patients get the support and help they need even if they don’t have a current partner.
He does not believe that only married people who undergo heart surgery can reap the associated benefits.
"It may be as simple as being supported…if you have a good friend or parent," to help you, said Shah. "I certainly don’t think that this says don’t get divorced…in case you have heart surgery."
Regardless, it's crazy to see how big of an impact emotional support can have on our physical selves. So, it seems, love can heal a broken heart.
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