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Married men seek timely help for heart attacks more than single males do, study finds

July 18, 2011|By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
  • Newlyweds walk by mannequins that are set out for CPR training at San Francisco City Hall.
Newlyweds walk by mannequins that are set out for CPR training at San Francisco… (Justin Sullivan / Getty…)

Marriage might be good for a man's heart. Seriously. A new study published online Monday in the Canadian Medical Assn. Journal found that married men sought timely treatment after symptoms of a heart attack more often than their single compatriots did.

According to the study of about 4,400 men and women, 75.3% of married people went to the hospital within six hours of the first sign of chest pain. Compare that with single people: Only 67.9% of them hit the hospital within that window. (Divorced and widowed patients came in slightly higher rates than single people.) On average, married people showed up about half an hour sooner than unmarried folk, according to the researchers.

Men account for most of the difference, however: Single and married women didn't show much change between their reporting rates. The researchers think it's because in a relationship, women tend to assume the caregiver role, not the other way around.

Other interesting findings in the study: South Asian men were one of the groups more likely to report quickly when experiencing symptoms of chest pain; Chinese men were less so. Oddly enough, the reverse appeared to be true in South Asian and Chinese women.

Those who tended to take more than six hours to head to the hospital: men with depression, and men who lived with someone.

Follow me on Twitter @LAT_aminakhan.

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