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Married women are 28% less likely to die from heart disease than unmarried women, a new study has found. This is despite the fact that marriage makes no difference to women's chances of developing heart disease in the first place.

The reasons for this difference are not known, but Dr Sarah Floud and colleagues at Oxford University's Cancer Epidemiology Unit suggest one explanation could be that the partners of married women may encourage them to seek early medical treatment for symptoms.

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