Britain’s Prince Harry tied the knot with Hollywood’s Meghan Markle in what some may consider a fairy tale wedding. Throughout their married lives, the royal couple will receive many perks like travel and tax dollars, but among them is one perk that they share with all of us commoners.
Research has shown that being married reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. According to a study published in December in the Journal of the American Heart Association, marriage has an actual positive impact on the heart. It’s the first study of its kind to show an association between marital status and heart-disease related deaths.
“I was somewhat surprised by the magnitude of the influence of being married,” said Dr. Arshed A. Quyyumi, co-director of the emory Clinical Cardiovascular Research Institute at Emory University in Atlanta and the study’s lead researcher.
There are various reasons why marriage make a difference in heart health.
“Other than social support, there is some suggestion that health outcomes are improved by optimism, coping, and perhaps lower anxiety and depression. All of these things, or managing them, may be affected by being married,” he said.
But, of course, not all marriages are created equal.
“Is it not the case that any marriage is better than none,” wrote sociologists Hui Liu and Linda Waite in “Bad marriage, broken heart? Age and gender differences in the link between martial quality and cardiovascular risks among older adults,” published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.
While it’s too early to tell if Meghan and Harry — now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex — will have a successful marriage, it’s just one more potential perk of their happily ever after.