Here’s a news flash from the Department of the Bleedin’ Obvious . . . Medical researchers tell us that married men suffering heart attack chest pain get to the hospital far quicker than single men do. In my admittedly non-scientific opinion, this reality is entirely due to the fact that these married men have wives.
As Dr. Ralph Brindis, past president of the American College of Cardiology, once told a Wall Street Journal interviewer:
“Thank God we have spouses. I can’t tell you how often, if it was left up to the patient, they never would have sought care.”
According to one study, for example, a Canadian research team out of Toronto’s Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences found that the odds of men showing up at the hospital more than six hours after the onset of cardiac chest pain were a relative 65% lower in men who had spouses compared to their single male counterparts. (1)
In a spectacularly understated explanation for these findings, researchers reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal:
“We surmise that, in general, women may be more likely than men to take the role of caregiver and to advise their spouses to seek early medical assessment.”
This early medical assessment during a heart attack is crucially important, because we know that half of the deaths from a heart attack occur in the first 3-4 hours after cardiac symptoms begin. Now here’s the interesting – and utterly maddening – part of this surmising from the Canadian study: a similar association was not seen in married women. In other words, being married did not mean that women were more likely than their single peers to seek faster help in mid-heart attack. Continue reading “How having a wife shortens time to heart attack care”