Elderly couple
Elderly coupleiStock

A new research by Birmingham's Aston Medical School found that marriage improves the chances of recovering from illness and reduces the chance of dying from type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

The study included over one million patients between 2000 and 2013. Each patient was monitored for approximately five years.

The participants had an average age of 60.

Marriage improved the survival rates of patients with high cholesterol by 16%, of diabetes patients by 14%, and of those patients with high blood pressure by 10%.

"Our research suggests that marriage offers a protective effect, which is probably down to having support in controlling the key risk factors for heart disease," lead researcher Dr. Paul Carter said.

‘The findings shouldn’t be seen as a reason to get married, but as encouragement for people to build strong support networks with their families and friends."

"Our social interactions, as well as medical risk factors, are important determinants of both our health and wellbeing," the British Heart Foundation's Dr. Mike Knapton said. "Whether you are married or not, if you have any of the main risk factors for heart disease then you can call upon loved ones to help you to manage them."

A previous study by the same researchers found that the chances of surviving a heart attack or stroke jump by 14% and 71% respectively if the patient is married.