WASHINGTON, D.C., February 7, 2013, (Heritage Foundation) -- What can you do to reduce your risk of heart attack? A new study released last week in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found one important factor that could contribute to saving your life: marriage.

The study found that “unmarried men were 58 percent to 66 percent more likely to have a heart attack, as were 60 percent to 65 percent of single women, compared to members of married couples.”

The researchers suggest several potential reasons: “Married people may be better off financially, live healthier lives and have more friends and social support, all of which promotes health.”

And previous research supports this—reinforcing that marriage matters for public policy. Married people report being in excellent health over 64 percent of the time, compared to 57 percent who never married and 52 percent for people who have divorced.

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The research speaks: Marriage presents long-term benefits. And these benefits are not related only to physical health. Researchers find that married individuals are better off financially, have better psychological health, and are less likely to abuse alcohol.

For those who recognize our generation’s marriage crisis, defenders of the institution should use every fact at their disposal to rebuild a culture of marriage.

This article originally appeared at The Heritage Foundation and is reprinted with permission.