Prepared for Chris W. | Delivered September 18, 2019
Love and Longevity
To obtain a list of scientific studies and articles that discuss how love and/or healthy relationships impacts longevity for the purposes of writing an article.
Preliminary research found five current scientific studies and articles that discuss love and/or healthy relationships and their impact on longevity and o
In 2017, the Harvard Gazette published an article examining an ongoing Harvard study that
began in 1938
268 Harvard sophomores
to determine what factors lead to healthy and happy lives.
As of 2017, only
of the original cohort are still alive and in their 90s, but later, the study was expanded to include the subjects' offspring, who eventually numbered
and were in their 50s and 60s in 2017.
The researchers "studied the participants’ health trajectories and their broader lives, including their
triumphs and failures
in careers and marriage."
The findings show that "our relationships and how happy we are in our relationships has a powerful
influence on our health
In addition, the study revealed that "
, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives."
MARRIED PATIENTS AND HEART DISEASE
A study from the European Society of Cardiology found that "
marriage is a vital factor
affecting the survival of patients who have had a heart attack."
The study was conducted on
adult patients with cardiovascular risk factors or who had a previous heart attack to "study the effect of
Married patients were
more likely to survive a cardiovascular event than single patients.
In addition, married people with high cholesterol were
more likely to be alive at the end of the study, married people with diabetes had a
higher survival rate, and married people with high blood pressure had a
higher survival rate.
Dr. Paul Carter
, lead author of the study, stated, "Marriage, and
having a spouse at home
, is likely to offer emotional and physical support on a number of levels ranging from encouraging patients to live healthier lifestyles, helping them to cope with the condition and helping them to comply to their medical treatments."
MARITAL QUALITY AND BODY WEIGHT
A 2018 study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that "a
supportive marital relationship
is associated with healthier body weight in midlife."
The study was conducted on
middle-aged adults in the United States who participated in two self-reported surveys on weight and marital quality 10 years apart.
The findings indicate that
involvement of a spouse
in obesity prevention and treatment would be beneficial.
Marital strain was not associated with weight gain or loss, but marital support was "
with weight gain."
Researchers ultimately concluded that "a supportive marital relationship facilitates a
behavioral regulatory function of marriage
—spouses encourage each other to engage in healthy behaviors and avoid unhealthy practices, which in turn leads to healthier weight."
In addition, "positive experiences in the marital relationship may directly contribute to reducing an
individual’s emotional problems
, which in turn may decrease risk of unhealthy behaviors and thereby promote the maintenance of healthy weight."
RELATIONSHIPS AND HEALTHY AGING
Louis Cozolino, professor of psychology at Pepperdine University has written a book titled, "
: Nature’s Formula for Health and Longevity" in which he states, "of all the experiences we need to survive and thrive, it is the experience of
relating to others
that is the most meaningful and important."
Cozolino says that the human brain is wired for interpersonal connection and therefore, a "life that maximizes social interaction and human-to-human contact is
good for the brain
at every stage, particularly for the aging brain."
Cozolino's earlier book, "The Neuroscience of
," discussed that "people who have
more social support
tend to have better mental health, cardiovascular health, immunological functioning, and cognitive performance."
The article also states that "social relationships help calm our
" because they lower the stress hormone cortisol, which is known to "wreak havoc on our
physical and emotional health
LOVE AND HEALTH
An article from A&Z Pharmaceutical, Inc. discusses the many
benefits of love
on a person's health.
Love has been shown in studies to release
dopamine and oxytocin
, which are chemicals that release feelings of euphoria.
In addition, oxytocin "
lowers blood pressure
, stress hormones and improves overall mood and well being."
, MD, a cardiologist and director of Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, "One theory on why love is good for your health is that blood pressure responds to calmness and peace… If you’re in love, you’re calmer and more at peace, which could translate into
lower blood pressure
Moreover, people in healthy relationships are likely to have
, which "lowers both men’s and women’s chances of
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