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August 19, 2011

Married people live longer than those who are single

married people live longerLooks like marriage may be good for your lifespan.

Single people die a decade earlier than their married friends, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Yet another reason for singles to feel the pressure to tie the knot. Check out this story about the issue on

Here are excerpts from the article:

The researchers found the risk of death was 32 percent higher across a lifetime for single men compared to married men. Single women face a 23 percent higher mortality risk, compared to married women.

In real numbers, “under the worse-case scenario,” single men could die about eight to 17 years earlier than their married male friends, said the study's lead researcher David Roelfs, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Louisville, Ky., citing that nearly all of the data was gleaned from studies conducted in the last 60 years.

Women don't fare much better. They could die seven to 15 years earlier than their married female counterparts. The researchers speculate their longevity findings could be tied to poorer health benefits, meager public assistance and less income for singles. And some singles may not have the same social support that married couples have “by default,” Roelfs said.

Posted by Andrea Walker at 11:59 AM | | Comments (7)
Categories: General Health


Yes. I belive this to be very true. In fact this has been true for many years, long before I was borned.


The research is flawed. They only took into account married people who stayed married. They put everyone who got married, didn't like it and got divorced in the unmarried category. Getting married doesn't mean you'll live longer, you have to stay married to get the longevity benefits until your dead. Always-singe women tend to live as long as married women. If you read the study, unmarrieds that make it through their middle years and age into their senior years live almost as long as married people.

Andrea Walker, quit reporting on flawed studies and scaring the beejesus out of people. You are as bad as Reimer. Click on my name for a lengthy critique of where this study goes so violently wrong.

Meanwhile, the CDC said there are four things an individual must do to live longer: eat healthy, exercise regularly, avoid alcohol and tobacco. Does not say an individual must be married.

Gee, it would be nice if this option were open to gay couples. :-)

>The research is flawed.

I sense you're right. However, the body of research lines up in this general direction.

And, if we combine the marriage research with your point about singles who make it into their senior years, perhaps we can investigate something about "being at peace with oneself" or "feeling secure" or some such. But, because you're obviously really knowledgeable about research, you know those details are very hard to operationalize.

Single people are the largest forgotten class or group in society. While lax policies make sense for those 18-35 (when we are building a career, having fun, and young!), but for those over about 35-40, it is just not equitable in how we are taxed, the less than ideal benefits offered from both private but especially from government, and the cost of living. All compared to two partners at any age or a family.
People who have only been married, especially men, who are in leadership roles, have completely forgotten the many advantages they have with a partner. They love to complain about a partner but forget all the positives completely. But when that partner leaves them or dies, they realize how very hard it is to live single.

This study is obviously flawed. What about all of those nuns from Catholic School? They were all in their 90's? And please, don't give me the "married to Jesus" excuse.

to quote Bill Maher: and house cats live longer than cats who live in the wild, so...

so is the point of this article to imply that you'd better get (and stay) married, or else???

wow. this must have been written by a woman...

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About Picture of Health
Meredith CohnMeredith Cohn has been a reporter since 1991, covering everything from politics and airlines to the environment and medicine. A runner since junior high and a particular eater for almost as long, she tries to keep up on health and fitness trends. Her aim is to bring you the latest news and information from the local and national medical and wellness communities.

Andrea K. WalkerAndrea K. Walker knows it’s weird to some people, but she has a fascination with fitness, diseases, medicine and other health-related topics. She subscribes to a variety of health and fitness magazines and becomes easily engrossed in the latest research in health and science. An exercise fanatic, she’s probably tried just about every fitness activity there is. Her favorites are running, yoga and kickboxing. So it is probably fitting that she has been assigned to cover the business of healthcare and to become a regular contributor to this blog. Andrea has been at The Sun for nearly 10 years, covering manufacturing, retail , airlines and small and minority business. She looks forward to telling readers about the latest health news.

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