Wanna Live Longer? Get Married!
How A Long-Term Union Keeps You HealthyBy Barbara Brody for Woman's Day
Sure, marriage is hard work, but if yours is a happy one most of the time, both you and your spouse will reap major health benefits. “People who are married can have a built-in support system and social network. One of you might encourage the other to eat better or join in a workout, or nag until the other stops smoking,” explains Alice Domar, Ph.D., coauthor of Live a Little!
Married folks are less likely to ...
... develop diabetes. Women with higher-than-normal blood glucose readings were more apt to end up with full-blown diabetes if they lived alone rather than with a partner, says research published in the journal Diabetes Care.
... have hypertension. Researchers from Brigham Young University found that happily married people had the healthiest blood pressure levels. The catch: Unhappy couples had the worst readings. “I have counseled some patients to get divorced,” says Dr. Domar. “A bad marriage is worse for you than being single.”
... smoke or drink too much — compared with people who never married, are divorced or are widowed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
... die prematurely. People who never married are 58 percent more likely to die early, according to a study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
ON WOMAN'S DAY
Having better health could be as simple as getting hitched.Miroku/Getty Images