By Tessa Berenson
October 29, 2015

It turns out that marriage may actually mend broken hearts.

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that married patients recovered better after heart surgery than single or divorced patients.

After studying 1,576 adults over age 50 who had serious cardiac surgery, the researchers found that unmarried patients had a 40% greater chance of dying or developing complications two years after the surgery.

This fits into a series of studies that show marriage can be beneficial to your health. But as TIME’s Belinda Luscombe reports, in many cases only those in happy marriages get the full benefit.

Read Next: A Better Marriage Is Better for Your Health

Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.berenson@time.com.

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