|Don's Home Health Marriage and Health|
I've seen a lot of health tips that say you live longer if you're married.
There are pros and cons of marriage; That's a subject for another web page.
As a widower who is healthier than most of my friends my age, I think these studies are all flawed. Many men rely on their wives to prepare healthy meals, get health checkups, etc. and when left alone resort to junk food and an unhealthy lifestyle. As long as you take care of yourself and maintain social relationships thru organizations, friends, church, ... I think single people can be as healthy as their married counterparts.
Another problem I suspect exists in these studies is multicollinearity.
Most of these articles don't give details for the studies that came up with this conclusion. Some day I've got to get some of the papers describing their methodology.
My Dad's cousin who has been a widower for almost 25 years will be 100 next year and is going strong. He has close female friends, but still lives alone and takes care of himself.
I've been a widow for 20 years and am still pretty healthy although I did need a stent last year.
The health - marriage connection:
In 1858 a British epidemiologist named William Farr did a sutdy called the "conjugal condition" of the people in France and found that the unmarried died from disease in undue proportion to their married counterparts. Of course correlation doesn't imply cause and effect. Unhealthy people may be less likely to get married.
However current studies have found the same thing. In 2009 the Journal of Health and Social Behavior published a study which grew out of work by researchers at the University of Chicago. It not only found that married people were healthier, but people who had been single their entire lives were healthier than people who were married and divorced or widowed.
Source: Is Marriage Good, NY Times April 18, 2010
"Doctors at Harvard tossed some more data on the pile last month, showing that married patients were more likely to identify cancer in its early stages and less likely to die from the disease than their unmarried peers."
" Marriages and close friendships marked by negativity -- such as conflict and adverse exchanges -- boost the risk of heart disease"