A recent research, putforth at the British Cardiovascular Society Conference, emphasized that married people are 14% less likely to die from heart attack and were discharged from hospital two fewer days prior than single people. Conducted by the ACALM (Algorithm for Comorbidities, Associations, Length of stay and Mortality) Study Unit, the scientists investigated around heart attack 25,000 patients, admitted between January 2000 and March 2013. Annually, about 188,000 hospital admissions occur for heart attack in the UK.
Around 7/10 people survive based on upgraded diagnosis and treatment. Although it is yet to predict the reason behind better survival of married people, scientists believe that physical and emotional support given by the spouse may play an extensive role. Getting early discharge reduces not only hospital stay charges but also risk of hospital acquired infections. It is estimated that the average hospital stay cost/day for a patient comes up to £400 for the NHS, but shorter length of stays may save the NHS to £9.8 million. The study also stresses to consider the psychological effects post heart attack, a risk factor in managing and discharging a patient. Thus the ACALM Study Unit has moved on to investigating the impact of health services such as cardiac rehab on patient’s mental and physical health.
Performing analysis on larger databases over a longer time period helps to gain supplementary psychological benefits of marriage, to guide patient care and to see if marriage can offer more advantages in overcoming other conditions like heart failure. A survey by British Heart Foundation (BHF) estimated that 30% heart attack survivors experience anxiety or depression. According to the BHF, the support offered by a spouse minimizes the impact of heart attack significantly thereby speeding recovery. Additionally enrolling in a cardiac rehab course provides better physical and psychological recovery and is recommended for all (married or single) heart attack patients.