A nonconcurrent prospective study was conducted in the metropolitan Baltimore, Maryland, area to examine the influence of marital status on the in-hospital and long-term survival rate of 1401 patients who experienced an acute myocardial infarction. Patients were classified as "married" or "unmarried" at the time of their myocardial infarction and any later change in the marital history was not considered. For married males the adjusted in-hospital case fatality rate was 19.7 per cent, whereas for unmarried males the rate was 26.7 per cent (p less than 0.05); similarly, the case fatality rate for married and unmarried females was 23.3 per cent and 37.4 per cent, respectively (p less than 0.05). A 10-year follow-up of 888 subjects who were discharged alive after an acute myocardial infarction also showed a significantly better survival rate for the married compared to the unmarried for both males (p less than 0.0001) and females (p less than 0.025). The results of this study indicate that married men and women who experience an acute myocardial infarction have a significantly better survival prospect, both in-hospital and after discharge, independent of other factors.
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