1,500 cases selected for most men, those who were divorced, separated or widowed, had approximately 40% higher risk of dying or developing a new health problem within two years after cardiac surgery compared to those who were married.

These findings, which come to consolidate similar results of other studies, “could be explained by the support of the joint such as the choice of hospitals and care received at home,” the fall authors.

However, they believe that “more research is needed to determine the mechanisms that link being married and patient outcome after surgery.” The authors used data from a study by the University of Michigan Health and Retirement which involved over 29,000 adults over 50 years since 1998.

Participants in early 1576 of the study, 65% were married and the vast majority of men, 12% divorced or separated, 21% widowers and 2% have never been married. The participants were interviewed every two years after surgery on their health, care received and their family structure.