For years, research has tied marriage to a lower risk of cancer, heart attack, and of being diagnosed with dementia. Various newer research, however, has found that the picture is not as clear-cut and that various factors can play a role in the relationship between marriage and health, such as stress and the quality of the marriage.
Although this might be your first time hearing about it, science has known that there are positive correlations between marriage and good health for quite some time. Research on the health benefits of marriage date back more than 150 years, to 1858, when British epidemiologist William Farr first reported his findings. Even though science has been aware of the positive links, research to explain whether marriage is actually good for your health remains ongoing.
New research out of the Universitat Autὸnoma de Barcelona in Spain suggests that, based on two data sources, the actual health benefits of marriage for people in the United States are largely dependent on age.
Under age 39 – If you are younger than 39 years old, marriage isn’t going to do much for your health, according to the Barcelona study. At that age, it’s simply more likely that healthy people have chosen to get married. Not to fear, though; the research still has good news for all of our hitched readers.
Age 40 and above – The Barcelona study found that the positive health benefits of marriage actually start to kick in for those aged 40 and above. The researchers suggested that the health benefits might be partly due to insurance, as married people are more likely to be insured than single people. In addition, marriage also encourages healthier behavior, such as getting precautionary check-ups and quitting smoking, the study noted.
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