Women in relationships eat more fruit and vegetables and are less likely to be overweight or smoke than single females, a new survey has found.
The Heart Foundation survey, released Saturday, polled 6,025 Australians aged between 30 and 65, and looked at the clinical and lifestyle risk factors for developing heart disease. It surveyed people in a relationship (married and defacto) and those not in a relationship (single, widowed, divorced and separated).
"The data found women in a relationship fared better in many of the key risk factors, with more women eating their fruit and veg, more in a healthy weight range, more having normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and less women smoking than their single counterparts," the Heart Foundation said.
Twenty percent of single women polled smoked, compared to just 11.8 percent of women in couples, while 61 percent of single females were overweight or obese compared to 54 percent of those coupled-up.
The survey found 7.4 percent of single respondents were at a high risk of having a heart attack, compared to 6 percent for women in couples.
For men, the results were mixed, with the survey finding men in relationships ate better and smoked less, but were more likely to be overweight and were at a higher risk of heart attack.
Heart Foundation national chief executive, professor Garry Jennings, said in heterosexual couples men were generally less healthy.
“If we look solely at couples, men aren’t as healthy as their female partners, with women healthier in almost every aspect," Jennings said.
“It is bad news. The reality is that men are two times more likely to have been told by their doctor that they are at high risk of having heart attack than women.
“Men need to start getting their act together if they’re to live a long and healthy life."
The release of the survey comes as the Heart Foundation holds its annual Lock in the Love campaign for heart disease research and patient support in Melbourne.
The foundation is encouraging people to buy a lock for $10 and attach it to the heart installations at Queensbridge Square or Collins Square in the CBD, NewsCorp Australia reports.
Heart disease is said to be the single biggest killer of Australians, claiming 20,000 lives each year.