Tags: marriage | married | good | health | long-term

Getting Married — and Staying Married — Good for Health

Monday, 27 Jul 2009 09:15 AM

A stable, long-term marriage can be good for your health, but divorce or widowhood leaves a lasting scar on the health of middle-aged and older people, according to a new study.
Remarriage seems to reduce but not erase the damage from losing a marriage, and those who remain single after a marriage ends show consistently worse health than those who remarried.
People who have never married are disadvantaged on some measures of health, compared with the divorced or widowed, but do better on others, the researchers found.
“We argue that losing a marriage through divorce or widowhood is extremely stressful and that a high-stress period takes a toll on health,” said study co-author Linda Waite, director of the Center on Aging at the University of Chicago. “Think of health as money in the bank. Think of a marriage as a mechanism for ‘saving’ or adding to health. Think of divorce as a period of very high expenditures.”
The study looked at four key aspects of midlife health: chronic conditions, mobility limitations, self-rated health, and depressive symptoms. A significant disruption in marital stability, such as divorce or spousal death, often has a prolonged impact, negatively affecting all four areas, said Waite, the Lucy Flower Professor of Sociology.
The researchers drew data from the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative, longitudinal study that looked at individuals 50 and above. They analyzed data from 8,652 white, black, and Hispanic people between the ages of 51 and 61. The study appears in the September issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.
Stress-management specialist Debbie Mandel said that, “While the saying goes, ‘Better to have loved and lost,’ multiple divorces create multiple prolonged stressful conditions and undermine personal empowerment — far worse than never marrying. A good marriage is like making deposits in your health savings account for midlife and the golden years.”

Those who never married fared better than people who are married now but have a history of divorce or spousal loss. Still, although the researchers did not find a difference in the number of chronic conditions compared with those who are married now, they did find significantly more depressive symptoms and mobility limitations and significantly worse self-rated health than they did in married individuals.

Although the study was strong because ofits large sample size, detailed health history and clear marital data, Waite and Mandel agreed that its biggest limitation was that it did not look at marital quality.









© HealthDay

 
1Like our page
2Share
Health-News
A stable, long-term marriage can be good for your health, but divorce or widowhood leave a lasting scar on the health of middle-aged and older people, according to a new study. Remarriage seems to reduce but not erase the damage done by losing a marriage, and those who remain single after a marriage
marriage,married,good,health,long-term
408
2009-15-27
Monday, 27 Jul 2009 09:15 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read Newsmax Terms and Conditions of Service.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved