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    Married men seek heart treatment sooner

    Washington: Surprisingly, men who are married or are in live-in relations seek medical care sooner for heart attacks compared with single, divorced or widowed men, according to a new research.

    This study sought to assess the affect of marital status on time from first experiencing chest pain to arrival of the patient in an emergency department.

    Researchers looked at data on 4,403 patients in Canada, who had heart attacks (acute myocardial infarction), reports the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

    The mean age was 67.3 years and 33.7 percent were female. Almost half of patients (46.3 percent) went to hospital within two hours, with 73.6 percent arriving within six hours.

    Among married people, 75.3 percent men went to hospital within six hours of first chest pain, compared with 67.9 percent single, 68.5 percent divorced and 70.8 percent widowed men.

    "Among patients with an exact time of onset of chest pain, the adjusted time saved was a remarkable half-hour," writes Clare Atzema, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) with co-authors.

    "Because cardiovascular disease is the most frequent cause of death in Canada and the western world, the benefit at the population level is substantial," adds Atzema.

    "Earlier attainment of medical care may be one reason why married men have a lower risk of cardiovascular mortality than their single counterparts," concluded the authors.

    The benefits of marriage on health, particularly for men, have long been known. However, patient delays in seeking treatment for chest pain have not improved.