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Research suggests that having a strong social support network — such as being married, having someone you can talk to and trust, or belonging to one or more organizations or a religion — can reduce your stress level and, thus, your risk of heart disease.
If you already have heart disease, this same network can help reduce your risk for heart attack. This means having someone to help you with daily activities, such as grocery shopping, cooking, or running errands. Having at least one person you can rely on takes a heavy burden off you and provides comfort.
A strong support system helps you take better care of yourself, too. A lack of social support influences the extent to which people engage in high-risk behaviors, such as smoking, eating a high-fat diet, and consuming too much alcohol.