So, apparently, being married is good for you. Married, I tells ya, as in party to a matrimonial contractual arrangement with a legally eligible spouse. Why might this be? Well, one advantage to being married is that your tax and inheritance provisions tend to be facilitated by legislation in ways that materially advantage you over non-married folk. And if you are inclined toward such stuff, you may also expect your relationship will be spiritually blessed by whatever deity you think morally underwrites your existence.
But what you mightn’t count on are the associated medical benefits. And quite specific ones at that. Because, according to several media reports this week, scientists have now revealed that “being married” makes you twice as likely to be alive 15 years after heart surgery. Or three times as likely, if you read a different media website. Or four times as likely if you read another. Whichever, it seems like quite a lot. Put the other way around, it means that not being married makes you only half, a third, or a quarter as likely to survive as someone who has been wedded in holy (or civil) matrimony.
It was a pretty simple message; so simple, in fact, that the media ended up gravitating toward a relatively narrow repertoire of similarly worded headlines. The LA Times went with “Marriage helps the heart“, while CBS News had “Marriage tied to longer survival after heart bypass“. Both USA Today and CNN came up with “Marriage helps survival after heart surgery“. Meanwhile, some of the more socially conservative outlets emphasized the importance of having a cohesive marriage: “Take Heart! A good marriage protects even after a bypass” proclaimed Fox News; while the Christian Post declared that “Healthy marriages lead to healthy hearts“. And these pronouncements were not intended as social value-statements moderated by conservative editorial stances. No, science told us that all this is so, apparently.
Except it didn’t, of course. Continue reading ““Marriage saves lives!” (Well, it has a nice ring to it…)”