This past week I consulted my doctor about some shoulder and neck pain. His nurse checked my weight, temperature, and blood pressure. She congratulated me on my blood pressure. (As to the weight, well, she was discreetly silent.)
My wife also has good blood pressure. Actually, it is remarkably low blood pressure.
Since we're about to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary, I was delighted to read this morning that happily married couples have noticeably lower 24-hour blood pressure than either singles with excellent friendship networks or unhappily married couples who also report having supportive circles of friends. (The basic AP report is here. And there's more detail here from Science Daily.)
"Marriage may literally be a matter of the heart," quipped the Science Daily writer.
“There seem to be some unique health benefits from marriage,” said [psychologist Julianne] Holt-Lunstad, whose findings will be published March 20 in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine.
I'll take those benefits and testify to a lot more.
The study has two co-authors who worked with Holt-Lunstad when they were undergraduates at Brigham Young University: Wendy Birmingham and Brandon Jones. The study is titled “Is There Something Unique about Marriage? The Relative Impact of Marital Status, Relationship Quality, and Network Social Support on Ambulatory Blood Pressure and Mental Health.”