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Marriage leads to longer life

28th January 2011

A new study has suggested that married life really is good for you.

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It is claimed that marriage improves physical health in men and mental well-being in women and the benefits grow the longer it goes on leading to a longer and more satisfying life.

Dr John Gallacher and David Gallacher of Cardiff University’s School of Medicine were asked to ponder the question of whether relationships are good for health.

Writing in BMJ Student as part of the journal's forthcoming Valentine edition, they said: “Traditionally, people thought it was a good idea and nearly everyone was married, so it was hard to make a comparison.

“But over the last 30 years there has been a lot more social diversity so we are able to make these evaluations. The bottom line is that medically speaking, the group with the greatest longevity are the marrieds.”

Looking at millions of people across seven European countries, the researchers found that married couples had mortality rates 10-15% below the general population.

Commitment, it was argued, was also linked to higher living standards and that well-adjusted people were also more likely to establish long-term relationships.

But there was also evidence that not all relationships were good for you and that adolescents in exclusive romantic relationships were more likely to suffer depressive symptoms.

The optimum age for a man to commit is after 25 and for a woman it is 19-25.

Cohabiting relationships tended to be among the less enduring, according to author Dr Gallacher, who has been happily married for 30 years.

 

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