23/08/2011 14:09 BST | Updated 24/10/2011 06:12 BST

A Happy Marriage Boosts Chances Of Surviving Heart Surgery

Researchers have found that men and women who have had heart surgery live longer if they’re enjoying wedded bliss. The study, a fulfilling relationship gives people something to live for as well as promoting a healthier lifestyle such as not smoking or taking more exercise.

The study that followed 225 people who had had coronary bypass surgery, revealed that for men, even an unhappy marriage is better than being single when it comes to life expectancy – with those in unhappy marriages being 66% more likely to survive 15 years after the surgery than unmarried men, and more than twice as likely to survive if they were happily married.

For women, however, the quality of the relationship was key with those in unhappy marriages no more likely to enjoy a longer life than those who were single, while happily married women increased their chances of a long life threefold.

Professor Kathleen King of the University of Rochester, New York, who led the study published in Health Psychology, said: "There is something in a good relationship that helps people stay on track."