Marriage is good for the heart.
A study of more than 3.5 million Americans found that married folks are less likely to suffer heart or blood-vessel problems than their divorced, widowed or single counterparts.
“The benefits were seen for both men and women,” said Dr. Jeffrey Berger, a cardiologist at NYU Langone and co-author of the study.
No one knows the preventative power of love more than John and Katherine Ruffins, of Queens. The 90-year-olds will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary in August.
“Men are usually not very good at looking after themselves, healthwise,” Katherine Ruffins told the Daily News. “Couples really need to look out for one another.”
Sometimes, Katherine’s retired firefighter husband pretends not to hear her medical advice – but he has improved with age, she said.
“Oh, I’ve learned who the smart one is,” John Ruffins admitted.
For his part, he makes a point of complimenting his wife every day.
“He’s always telling me how beautiful my smile is,” Katherine said.
Married people had a 5% lower risk of any cardiovascular disease compared with single people, a 3% lower risk compared with widowed people and a 5% lower risk compared with divorced people.
“A partner can encourage you to move more, watch what you eat, see a health professional on a regular basis, things like that,” Berger said.
Smoking, a major risk to heart health, was highest among divorced people. Widowed people had the highest rates of high blood pressure, diabetes and inadequate exercise.