WASHINGTON — Married people have a significantly lower risk for developing CVD compared with those who are single, divorced or widowed, new research suggests.
Researchers will present data at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions on 3,532,189 US adults who had clinical and noninvasive screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm, CAD, cerebrovascular disease and peripheral arterial disease. The mean age of adults analyzed was 64 years and 63% were women.
Across the cohort, the distribution of marital status was similar to that of the general population: 69.1% married (80% of men, 63.2% of women); 8.3% single (9% of men, 8.1% of women); 9% divorced (6% of men, 10.5% of women); and 13% widowed (5% of men, 18.2% of women). Diabetes and high cholesterol and BP were most common among widowed participants, who also reported low exercise frequency. Divorced participants were more likely to smoke and widowed participants were the least likely to smoke. Obesity was most prevalent among single participants, and divorced participants were most likely to have family history of CVD.
Marital status was independently associated with CVD, according to multivariable analysis adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity and CVD risk factors.
Compared with single people, those who were married had a significant 5% lower risk for any vascular disease (OR=0.95; 95% CI, 0.93-0.96), according to the study abstract. This reduced risk was observed in married men and women and persisted across specific disease types, including a 9% lower risk for abdominal aortic aneurysm, 8% lower risk for cerebrovascular disease and 19% lower risk for PAD. The odds of CAD were lower in married participants compared with widowed or divorced participants; however, this was not significant when compared with single participants, which were used as the reference group for comparison, according to a press release.
Compared with single people, those who were widowed (OR=1.03; 95% CI, 1.02-1.05) and divorced (OR=1.05; 95% CI, 1.03-1.07) had higher odds of any vascular disease.
The strength of the association between marital status and CVD was more pronounced according to age. Married participants aged 50 years or younger had a 12% reduced risk for any CVD vs. single participants, whereas those aged 51 to 60 years had a 7% lower risk and those aged 61 years or older had a 4% lower risk, according to the release.
Carlos L. Alviar
"We can conclude that in a very large, contemporary cohort, being married was associated with lower odds of CVD when compared to single subjects, and both widowed and divorced subjects had a higher prevalence of CVD than subjects who were single," Carlos L. Alviar, MD, cardiology fellow at NYU Langone Medical Center, said during a press briefing. "This association was demonstrated in both women and men, and the lower odds of any vascular disease in married subjects were more pronounced at a younger age. However, we need more research to establish a potential explanation for these findings, and the clinical implications of this." – by Adam Taliercio
For more information:
Alviar CL. Session 1112. Abstract #153. Presented at: American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions; March 29-31, 2014; Washington, D.C.
Disclosure: Alviar reports no relevant financial disclosures.