With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, many people are buying gifts and planning dates, thinking about the best way to show their love. Here’s an idea that could really be good for your partner’s heart: adopt healthier habits! That’s the takeaway from new research into the effect of one spouse’s health on another.
In the study, researchers examined five years of biometric and blood test data from more than 5,000 couples. They examined each participant’s overall cardiovascular health and levels of risk factors such as diet and exercise, smoking, total cholesterol and blood pressure.
Researchers found that couples were actually more likely to align on negative health habits, such as eating an unhealthy diet or not exercising enough. It followed that, in three-fourths of couples studied, if one partner had suboptimal heart health, the other partner did too.
The study findings didn’t come as much of a surprise, researchers said. We tend to marry people who are similar to us. Further, if one member of a household is exposed to a factor that affects health, such as lack of access to healthy food, the other members usually are too.
But researchers say that the study findings present a unique opportunity: to focus on one spouse’s health in order to improve the health of a couple, a family or even a community.
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