Couple's Hearts Fare Better After Surgery


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​​​​Couples' Hearts Fare Better After Surgery, Study Says

From Gary Freeman of the Home Instead Senior Care® office in Red Oak, TX

Q.    My 88-year-old parents are suffering from heart problems, and my dad recently had surgery to correct some of these issues. They're trying to live on their own, which is such a worry for me, three hours away. They claim they are managing, but how can I be sure?                                                                                                                                                                       

It seems that couples do better when it comes to surgery from heart problems, according to a recent study. New research involving 1,500 older adults has found that being married is a predictor of survival and functional recovery after heart surgery.

Those in the study who were divorced, separated, or widowed were more likely to have died or develop a new functional disability after the surgery compared with the married participants, according to the study published online by JAMA Surgery.

Mark D. Neuman, M.D., M.Sc., and Rachel M. Werner, M.D., Ph.D., of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, used data from the University of Michigan Health and Retirement Study, which has enrolled 29,053 adults 50 years of age or older since 1998.

Marital status was significantly associated with death or a new disability. Participants who were divorced, separated, or widowed had an approximately 40 percent greater odds of dying or developing a new disability during the first two years after cardiac surgery compared with the married participants.

They add that their findings suggest "that marital status is a predictor of survival and recovery after cardiac surgery. Further research is needed to define the mechanisms linking marital status and postoperative outcomes."

Despite these encouraging results, it's understandable that you would be concerned about your parents. Why not suggest they consider caregiving help? A CAREGiverSM from Home Instead Senior Care® could help with tasks such as meal preparation, light housekeeping, medication reminders, shopping and errands.

What's more, a CAREGiver could serve to put your mind at ease knowing that a trusted source of companionship would be there for your mom and dad when you can't.

​For more information about your local Home Instead Senior Care office, contact Gary Freeman at 972-576-1100 or go to HomeInstead.com/742. For more information about the research, go to http://media.jamanetwork.com/news-item/being-married-linked-to-better-outcomes-following-surgery/. 

Each Home Instead Senior Care® franchise office is independently owned and operated​

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