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Living Alone Increases Risk of Acute Coronary Syndrome

Risk of death most significant in women over age 60 and men over age 50 who live alone

FRIDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- Women over age 60 and men over age 50 who live alone are twice as likely to have acute coronary syndrome (ACS) as those who live with a partner, according to a study published in the August issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Patients who live alone account for a disproportionate share of ACS deaths, the study suggests.

Kirsten Nielsen, M.D. of Aarhus Sygehus University in Denmark, and colleagues studied 138,290 Danish residents aged 30 to 69 and identified 646 people with ACS.

In both sexes, the researchers found that age and single living were positively associated with incident ACS. They found that single-living women over age 60 and single-living men over age 50 accounted for only 5.4 percent and 7.7 percent, respectively, of the source population. But these two groups accounted for 34.3 percent and 62.4 percent, respectively, of ACS patients who died within 30 days.

"By use of comparatively simple information from a population register, groups with excessive high risk of ACS and high risk of dying from ACS are identifiable," the authors conclude. "Such groups may be targets for complementary high risk preventive strategies, which may be comparatively cost effective as they entail only small parts of the resident population."

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