Ten reasons marriage is good for your health

NZ Herald 23 May 2017
Family First Comment: We already knew all of this – but the NZ Herald has finally caught up.
Notice the heading is not “Cohabitation is good for your health”!  ?

1. You will live a healthy life
Good news for Pippa Middleton, who wed financier James Matthews this weekend: being married keeps you healthier for longer.

According to the Daily Mail, US researchers followed 1,700 people over 20 years and found that a happy marriage led to improved overall health, specifically making spouses more likely to participate in healthy activities, sleep better and less likely to drink and miss doctor’s appointments.

2. Live a longer life
It follows that as married couples are healthier, they also live longer. Unmarried individuals are twice as likely to die prematurely than those who were married through middle and later life, a 2013 US study found.

3. Beat depression
Even when compared to co-habiting couples, married men and women have a significantly lower risk of becoming clinically depressed, and are at least 50 per cent less likely to develop any kind of mental illness, according to a study from 1991.

4. Less heart attacks
Married people of both genders are up to 66 per cent less likely to have a heart attack, Finnish researchers found in a 2013 study.

The Turku University team said that this could be a result of married couples being better off financially and being able to rely on a partner to call an ambulance in time, making survival more likely.

5. Less risk of a stroke
Regardless of known stroke factors such as obesity, smoking and diabetes, happily married men are 64 per cent less likely to have a fatal stroke compared to single or unhappily married men, according to a 2010 study conducted by the American Heart Association.

6. You are more likely to survive surgery
A 2011 study found that married men and women who had undergone heart surgery were three times as likely as single people to survive the next 15 years. The result was linked to care and support of a partner.

7. You are less likely to reach for the bottle
A study of more than 3.2 million Swedes found that marriage reduced the risk of becoming an alcoholic by 60 per cent in men and 70 per cent in women. The benefit of marriage was particularly strong in those who had a family history of alcohol abuse.

8. Strong bones
Marriage makes your bones stronger, particularly if you are a man. A 2014 US study found that married men had a higher bone density than both single and divorced men.

In women, a supportive spouse, rather than marriage itself, was associated with stronger bones.

9. Beat colon cancer
Being married increases the chance of surviving colon cancer, according to a study published earlier this year.

Researchers in Guangzhou, China, found that unmarried colon-cancer patients were 37 per cent more likely to die than those who were married, regardless of gender.

10. Improve your sleep
Women who have a happy marriage have less trouble sleeping than single ladies.

US researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found a link between improved sleep quality and a happy marriage, particularly in middle-aged women – regardless of alcohol and caffeine consumption, quality of sex life and economic situation.
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