Patients who were married had decreased risk for CVD compared with those who were single, widowed or divorced, according to a meta-analysis published in Heart.
Chun Wai Wong, of the Keele Cardiovascular Research Group at Royal Stoke Hospital at Stoke-on-Trent in the United Kingdom, and colleagues analyzed data from more than 2 million participants from 34 prospective studies that assessed CV events or mortality. Marital status such as divorced, widowed, married or unmarried was included in these studies. Exclusion criteria included studies that focused on HF, retrospective analyses or case-control studies.
Follow-up in these studies ranged from 30 days to 34 years.
Compared with participants who were married, those who were unmarried had an increased risk for death from CHD (OR = 1.43; 95% CI, 1.28-1.6; I2 = 57%) and stroke (OR = 1.55; 95% CI, 1.16-2.08; I2 = 0%). These participants also had an increased risk for CHD (OR = 1.16; 95% CI, 1.04-1.28; I2 = 69%) and CVD (OR = 1.42; 95% CI, 1-2.01).
Both men and women who were divorced were more likely to have CHD (OR = 1.35; 95% CI, 1.2-1.53; I2 = 0%). Participants who were widowed were more likely to have a stroke (OR = 1.16; 95% CI, 1.09-1.23; I2 = 0%).
Men and women who were unmarried and had an MI had an increased risk for mortality (OR = 1.42; 95% CI, 1.14-1.76; I2 = 83%).
“While current evidence may demonstrate an association between marital status and mortality and CVD, lack of social support might be a mitigating factor,” Wong and colleagues wrote. “Future research should focus around whether marital status is a surrogate marker for other adverse health behavior or cardiovascular risk profiles that underlies our reported findings, or whether marital status should be considered as a risk factor by itself.” – by Darlene Dobkowski
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.