Being married may actually help you live longer

New York, June 1 (IANS) Have you ever thought if your marital status may affect your overall health? A study backs this, as it has found that people who are married are less likely to die young than those who are not.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, found that being married was associated with a 15 per cent overall lower risk of death from all causes compared to singletons or unmarried people.

And those who tied the knot also had a 20 per cent lower risk of dying from accidents, injuries and heart disease, citing the study, Daily Mail reported on Tuesday.

The new study said the ‘protective effect’ of marriage could also be due to partners encouraging their spouses to seek medical help and adhere to treatment.

Better financial circumstances and healthier lifestyles come with marriage, researchers, from Japan’s National Cancer Center, said.

In 2010, the World Health Organisation found being in wedlock reduced the risk of suffering depression and anxiety compared to single people.

However, the recent report mentioned that it is not clear exactly why marriage helps to keep people healthier, but experts said it could be because someone has another person looking out for them.

US experts have also suggested single people are more likely to face loneliness or isolation than married ones. And men who are not married are more likely to drink alcohol excessively, eat unhealthily and engage in risky behaviour.

For the study, the team examined data of 623,140 people, who were aged 54 on average as well as their marital status. The vast majority (86.4 per cent) were married. Unmarried was defined as people who were single, separated but still married, divorced or widowed.

A total of 123,264 fatalities were logged during the 15-year study. Most were caused by cancer (41,362), cerebrovascular diseases (14,563), and respiratory diseases (13,583).

The results showed people who were not married were 12 per cent more likely to die from cerebrovascular disease — which includes strokes and aneurysms — than unmarried people.

Unmarried were 17 per cent more likely to die from circulatory system diseases, such as heart attacks, heart disease and heart failure. And they faced a 19 per cent higher risk of dying from external causes of death, such as an accident or injury.

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