Health Desk—Oct 11, 2017: Men whose marriages grow stronger over the years have healthier cholesterol and blood pressure than peers whose unions fall apart, said a study on Tuesday that hinted at unexpected health perks of relationship counseling.
Researchers got more than 600 men in Britain to rate the "quality" of their marriage at two points in time -- when their child was three, and then again aged nine.
The men could describe their union as consistently good, consistently bad, improving, or deteriorating.
Another 12 years later, the team measured the participants' health.
They analyzed such measures as blood pressure, resting heart rate, weight, cholesterol, and blood sugar -- potential risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Men who had described their marriages as "improving" had better cholesterol readings and a healthier weight years later, the team reported in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.
Unions described as "deteriorating", on the other hand, "were associated with worsening diastolic blood pressure."
The study authors further said, "Changes in the quality of a marital relationship appear to predict CVD (cardiovascular disease) risk."