Quicker Heart Treatment for Married Men

Heart attacks scare married men

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Marriage comes with a number of benefits. One of the most important might be an edge when it comes to health. Married men have a clear advantage in getting quick medical treatment for a heart attack.

Men who are married or in common law relationships are more likely to seek medical treatment for chest pains than men who are single, divorced or widowed. The research was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

"Seek immediate medical attention for chest pains."

Dr. Clare Atzema, the lead author from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, said that though fast and effective treatment for heart attack is available, delays in seeking treatment for chest pain have not improved overall.

This is especially true for unmarried men. Investigators theorized that may be because women are more likely to assume a caregiver role in urging their spouses to seek treatment.

Investigators examined data on 4,403 heart attack patients in Ontario to assess the impact of martial status on seeking treatment for chest pains. The mean patient age was 67, and about 34 percent of those studied were women.

Almost half, or 46 percent of patients went to the hospital within two hours, while 74 percent arrived within six hours. Among those who were married, 75 percent went to the hospital within six hours of chest pain.

Within that same period 68 percent of single patients sought hospital treatment versus 69 percent of divorced patients and 71 percent of widowed patients. Researchers found no difference between hospital arrival times of women who were married or single.

Dr. Atzema and her research team concluded that getting faster medical attention could be why married men have a lower risk of death from heart disease than their single peers. Dr. Atzema also suggested that awareness of differences in seeking treatment could help ensure proper targeting of future public health campaigns to target those most at risk; in this case, unmarried men.

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Review Date: 
July 19, 2011
Last Updated:
July 20, 2011