Marriage Is Good for the Heart

May 14, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. widowed /ˈwɪdʊd/ (adj.) – having lost a husband or wife because of death
Example: My widowed aunt misses her late husband so much.

2. odds /ɒdz/ (n) – the probability or possibility that something will happen
ExampleThe odds that my husband will be late for dinner are increasing due to the heavy traffic.

3. abdominal /æbˈdɒmə (adj.) – referring to the abdomen
ExampleThe patient is suffering from abdominal pain caused by food poisoning.

4. look after /lʊk ˈæfər/ (idiom) – to take care of or watch over someone or something
ExampleThe wife patiently looks after her sick husband.

5. cardiologist /ˌkɑrˈɒləʒist/ (n.) – a doctor specializing in the heart’s structure, functions, and diseases
Example: The cardiologist found that the patient is suffering from a severe heart illness.


Read the text below.
Another study verifies previous claims that marriage is good for the heart.

Several studies have already found that marriage helps the heart and its overall health. However, the recent study is the biggest, involving 3.5 million people all over the US.

The participants were 21-102 years old, with the average age of 64. Sixty-nine percent of the population were married, 14% were widowed, 9% were divorced, and 8% were single. Those who were single belonged to the control group, or the ones used for comparison.

Researchers evaluated the participants to see whether they have cardiovascular and vascular diseases. The study also looked into risk factors like high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, and obesity. Researchers also took into consideration the participants’ age, gender, and race.

The recent study, which aimed to find the odds of getting cardiovascular diseases, discovered that married people have lower risks of acquiring heart problems. Also, married people are less likely to develop cardiovascular diseases that affect the legs, neck, or abdominal areas.

Compared with single men and women, married people have 5% lower chances of having vascular disease, while the widowed and divorced have 3% and 5% higher odds, respectively.

The researchers of the study could not explain the protective factor of marriage. However, one doctor who reviewed the study said that the reason may be spouses look after each other, like taking care of each other’s diet and exercising together. Also, another cardiologist said that perhaps, those with spouses are more likely to comply with doctor’s appointments and medications.

Thus, the study suggests that doctors be more aware of the heart risk factors of unmarried patients.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree with the study’s claim that marriage is good for the heart? Why or why not?
·         In your opinion, what are the other advantages of being married? Explain.

Discussion B

·         How can the heart be taken care of? Explain.
·         What are the most common causes of heart diseases? Explain.


May 14, 2014