Marriage is good for the heart, a new study suggests.
The study, which is to be presented to the British Cardiovascular Society conference in Manchester, examined data on more than 900,000 patients with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes which was obtained from hospitals in northern England between January 2000 and March 2013.
Researchers based at Aston Medical School in Birmingham studied the survival of these patients and compared it to their marital status.
They found that people with high cholesterol were 16 per cent more likely to be alive at the end of the study if they were married compared to those who were single.
Meanwhile, married people with diabetes had a 14 per cent higher chance of survival compared to those who were single.
And married patients with high blood pressure were 10 per cent more likely to be alive at the end of the study period compared to singletons.
"Our research suggests that marriage offers a protective effect, which is probably down to having support in controlling the key risk factors for heart disease," said Dr Paul Carter, lead study author based at the Algorithm for Comorbidities, Associations, Length of stay and Mortality (ACALM) study unit.
"The findings shouldn't be seen as a reason to get married, but rather as encouragement for people to build strong support networks with their families and friends."