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If you want a motivation to get married, there here it is. A new study states that getting hitched cuts heart risk by 40 per cent as married people are more likely to seek medical help.

They are also less likely to die from stroke as having a “significant other” makes people seek treatment earlier.

Researchers from Keele University believe that a patient’s marital status should be regarded as a risk factor similar to blood pressure or smoking.

Mamas Mamas, professor of cardiology at Keele University and a consultant cardiologist at the Royal Stoke Hospital, said: “In medicine, we ask about marital status as a matter of course, but we don’t really think about it as a risk factor. What this study shows is that medics should think about what additional risk this gives the patient both in developing their first heart attack or stroke, or having better long-term outcomes.”

After analysing the data from studies of two million patients around the world, aged from 42 to 77, between 1963 and 2015, researchers found that those who were never married or were divorced or widowed were about 42 per cent more likely to have heart disease.

Professor Mamas said: “Being married makes people more likely to seek medical help. Often, particularly men say, ‘I noticed symptoms in my chest but I wasn’t going to come – my wife made me’.”

He added: “We know that patients are more likely to take and adhere to medications if they’re married. I think that’s related to spousal support reminding them of the need to take them.”

While those who were divorced had a 35 per cent chance of developing heart disease, widows and widowers were 16 per cent more likely to have a stroke.

The results of the research was published in the journal Heart.