How would you react if you come to know that deaths due to heart failures are more in those persons who have not married when compared to those who are married? Shocked and surprised right!!
Truth is that support through marriage would help the persons to manage their long term health issues well. A study was conducted by the European Society of Cardiology. It was found by the study that unmarried persons with heart failure issue appear to be less confident in managing their issue. These unmarried persons were socially restricted than their married peers. It is now revealed that these differences might lead to decrease in the long term survival rates of unmarried persons.
According to the study author, Dr. Fabien Kerwagen, belonging to the Comprehensive Heart Failure Centre at the University Hospital Wuerzburg, Germany, it was clear that social support helps people to manage long term conditions effectively. The persons with long term health issues would require correct intake of medicines, encouragement and healthier behaviours etc and these would be provided by the spouses. These would increase the lifespan of the person with long term health issues like heart failure etc.
The study also brought to light that unmarried persons with heart failures exhibited fewer social interactions when compared to the married persons with heart failure issue. It must be taken into account that previous studies have brought out that being unmarried was an indicator of a less favourable prognosis in both the general population as well in those with coronary heart disease.
Investigation of the prognostic relevance of marital status in those patients with chronic heart failure was carried out by the prosthoc analysis of E-INH or Extended Interdisciplinary Network Heart Failure study. Between 2004 and 2007 as many as 1022 patients were included in E-INH study for decompensated heart failure and 1008 patients provided details about their marital status.
It is learnt that 633 or 63% were married, 375 or 37.5% were unmarried (195 widowed, 96 never married even once and 82 divorced or separated) etc. By using Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire, quality of life plus social limitations and self efficacy were measured. The questionnaire was designed particularly for heart failure patients. It is worthy to mention that social limitations refers to the extent to which heart failure symptoms affect a person`s ability to interact socially.Patient’s perception of their ability to prevent heart failure exacerbations and managing complications came under self efficacy.
By using PHQ-9 or Patients Health Questionnaire, the depressed mood of the patients was assessed. Regarding the overall quality of life or depressed mood, there were no differences between married patients and unmarried patients. On social limitations and self efficacy, unmarried patients scored worse than married patients. In the follow up of these patients s that was done for 10 years, 679 patients or 67.9% died.
It was found out that when compared to the married patient’s widowed patients carried the highest mortality risk with hazard ratios of 1.70 and 2022 for all cause and cardiovascular deaths. It was also evident that being unmarried was found to be associated with higher risks of all cause deaths and cardiovascular deaths when compared with married patients. The study author Dr. Fabien Kerwagen concluded that the connection between marriage and longevity showed the importance of social support for patients with heart failures.