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Marriage a Boost for Heart Attack Survivors

HealthDay News: Married people are more likely to survive a heart attack and leave the hospital sooner than single people, a new British study finds. "Our results should not be a cause for concern for single people who have had a heart attack," said study coauthor Dr. Nicholas Gollop, a clinical research fellow in cardiology at the University of East Anglia. "But they should certainly be a reminder to the medical community of the importance of considering the support a heart attack survivor will get once they're discharged," Gollop added. Researchers examined data from more than 25,000 heart attack patients in England. They found that married people were 14% less likely to die than single people. The analysis also showed that married heart attack survivors spent an average of 2 fewer days in the hospital than single survivors. Shorter hospital stays reduce healthcare costs and reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections, the researchers noted. The researchers said their findings highlight the importance of physical and emotional support after a heart attack. If you have a heart attack, whether you're married or not, it's important to remember that you're not alone, Knapton said. "Enrolling in a cardiac rehabilitation course, for example, will help you to recover physically, psychologically, and also help you to meet people with similar experiences, who know what you've been through," he said. The results should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

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Cancer's Heavy Financial Burden: 1 in 10 Patients Skipped Doctor Visits, Nearly 1 in 5 Didn't Fill Prescriptions Due to Cost, Survey Shows

HealthDay News: Many cancer patients can't afford to see their doctor or take the medications they've been prescribed, a new study found. And the problem will likely only get worse as the cost of cancer treatments continues to rise, the study authors said. "You can prescribe the best drug in the world, but if patients can't afford it and they can't get it, then it won't be effective," said study author Dr. Greg Knight. He is chief fellow with the University of North Carolina School of Medicine's division of hematology and oncology. The researchers reviewed survey results from nearly 2,000 patients at the N.C. Cancer Hospital in Chapel Hill, N.C. The participants were all 18 and older, and had been diagnosed with cancer at least 90 days earlier. The results showed that 26% of the patients said they had to pay more for medical care than they could afford. Of those patients, 18% said they didn't fill prescriptions for medications and 11.5% said they didn't go to doctors' visits during the past year due to costs. Missing a doctor's appointment or not filling a prescription can be dangerous for cancer patients, the study authors noted. "Patients with cancer can be on highly regimented therapy that can have significant side effects that need to be closely monitored," Knight explained. "These patients represent a particularly vulnerable population because of the treatments they are receiving, and require close monitoring for both response and known side effects of their treatment," he added. The study findings point to the need to help cancer patients locate and use support programs, the researchers said.

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