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Study: Social Ties Help Heart Attack Recovery

Social support may help younger as well as older adults avoid depression and poor quality of life after a heart attack. That's the main finding of a study among 3,400 adults. All were age 55 or under. They answered questions about their social support and mental health. Researchers repeated the questions a year later. Social supports included people who offered companionship, advice, emotional concern, financial help or other support. About one-fifth of those in the study had poor social support. A year later, people with low social support were more likely to be depressed than those with more support. They also tended to have lower mental function and quality of life. This was true for both women and men. People with low social support tended to be single and live alone. They were more likely to be unemployed, smoke and abuse alcohol.

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