For all the perceived problems and strife marriage can bring, there have to be some upsides. Here's one: if you're married, you're over three times more likely to survive heart surgery than someone who's single. Take that, bachelorhood.

While previous studies have suggested that marriage is related to decreased risk of early death, this study zeroed in on how it affects recovery from surgery. The researchers looked at 500 patients undergoing coronary bypass surgery, and found that those who were married were three times more likely to survive the first three months following it. Ellen Idler, one of the researchers, told Science Daily:

"That's a dramatic difference in survival rates for single people, during the most critical post-operative recovery period. We found that marriage boosted survival whether the patient was a man or a woman... The findings underscore the important role of spouses as caregivers during health crises."

Indeed, it's that basic reasoning behind the finding—that spouses provide an effective support network—that means the effect is extremely likely to apply across a broad range or surgeries, and not just those performed on the heart.


A shame, then, that the boost in survival odds is becoming increasingly rare: barely half of US adults are married these days, the lowest proportion ever recorded. [Science Daily; Image: Spirit-Fire]