Giving Your Heart is Good For Your Heart

Posted on February 5, 2013


When I first saw the teaser on yahoo for this article talking about reducing heart attack risk, I assumed the article would probably be about diet or exercise.  I was surprised to find that it was about a study in Finland that found that having a spouse greatly reduces one’s risk of heart attack.

The interesting thing about this article is that the greatest benefit was for women.  Previous studies have demonstrated significant health benefits associated with marriage (Waite and Gallagher, 2001).  However, the benefits have generally been more pronounced for men than for women.  The conventional wisdom here is that men do not generally have the emotional support system outside of the marriage dyad, and consequently, do not fare well without a mate.  The recent study suggests that for both genders the likelihood of suffering a heart attack is lessened for both genders by being married, and the likelihood of surviving the heart attack is even greater.

The bottom line is that our species benefits from having one other person with whom we are securely attached.  Giving your heart to another is good for your heart.


Greenfield, B. (2013).  Do Married People–Especially Women–Have Healthier Hearts? Yes, New Study Finds.  Accessed 01 February 2013 at

Waite, L & Gallagher, M. (2001). The case for marriage : Why married people are happier, healthier, and better off financially. New York: Broadway Books.

Posted in: Love, Marriage