Gentlemen, listen to your wives: What you might dismiss as nagging could save your life -- especially if she's nagging you to get to the hospital.
A new study finds that married men who suffer a heart attack are more likely to get to a hospital quicker than their bachelor counterparts -- and researchers believe it's because their wives are urging them to go at the first sign of trouble.
Men on their own, on the other hand, stubbornly refuse to seek help until the last minute -- or even until it's too late.
Canadian researchers looked at data on 4,403 heart attack patients with an average age of 67, including 1,486 women, and found that married patients got to the hospital an average of 30 minutes sooner than single ones.
That's 30 crucial minutes to get treatment for a condition in which every second counts.
But the benefit went almost entirely to men: The researchers say that married men were 60 percent less likely to arrive late when compared to single men, while women reached the hospital in the same amount of time regardless of marital status.
The researchers say women take on a "caregiver" role when they're married and will push their husbands to seek treatment when something's wrong. What's more, they say married men will even seek help when their wives aren't around -- because they know their wives would want them to.
"As my husband put it, even if I wasn't there telling him to go to the hospital, he'd hear my voice telling him to do so," lead author Dr. Clare L. Atzema told the New York Times. "Even when they're not there, women have a pronounced effect."
Either that, or marriage causes voices in a man's head.
If that's the case, at least they're good voices: Other studies have found that married men are healthier and live longer than their single and divorced counterparts. Women also enjoy some benefits from marriage -- although, generally speaking, the differences are not as pronounced as in men.
But since they already live longer than men anyway, maybe it's simply of a case of "he needs her more than she needs him."