Married People Live Longer


The CDC recently crunched population data and confirmed what has been long known – married people live longer, though there has been some statistical variation.

So it’s good to be happily married. What if you’re unhappily married? Do you still live longer?

Yes, according to Dr. Viviana Coles with Houston Relationship Therapy. The same influences apply. “Even if you’re unhappily married, having someone there to help you with any health issues, to help you make better choices, to have that accountability, can still help you to live longer,” she says.

FROM THE CDC:

Previous studies have found that married persons have lower mortality rates than unmarried persons, attributable to either selectivity in entering marriage (i.e., healthier people are more likely to marry) or health-protective effects of marriage, or a combination of the two. This report presents trends for 2010–2017 in age-adjusted death rates by marital status (married, never married, divorced, or widowed) at the time of death for adults aged 25 and over. Rates for 2010–2017 are presented by marital status for men and women.

The age-adjusted death rate for married persons aged 25 and over during 2010–2017 was lower than for those who were never married, divorced, or widowed. The age-adjusted death rate for married persons aged 25 and over declined 7% between 2010 (839.8 per 100,000 U.S. standard population) and 2017 (779.6), while the rate for never-married persons also declined, by 2% (from 1,466.1 to 1,443.6). The age-adjusted death rate for widowed persons was the highest of all marital status groups and increased 6% during the period, from 1,567.2 in 2010 to 1,656.9 in 2017. The age-adjusted death rate for divorced persons aged 25 and over was stable during the period and was 1,368.8 in 2017.

For men aged 25 and over, age-adjusted death rates for married men were the lowest of all marital status groups and declined 7% from 2010 (1,012.1) to 2017 (942.9). The age-adjusted death rate for widowed men was the highest of all marital status groups and remained essentially the same between 2010 (2,155.1) and 2017 (2,238.7). The death rate for divorced men remained essentially the same between 2010 (1,764.6) and 2017 (1,772.7) as did the death rate for never-married men (1,754.0 in 2010 and 1,735.1 in 2017).

For women, age-adjusted death rates for married women aged 25 and over were the lowest of all marital status groups and declined 7% between 2010 (612.1) and 2017 (569.3). Widowed women had the highest age-adjusted death rates for women aged 25 and over, and the death rate increased 5% from 2010 (1,405.1) to 2017 (1,482.2). The rate for never-married women dropped 3% between 2010 (1,205.9) and 2017 (1,165.6), whereas the death rate for divorced women remained essentially the same between 2010 (1,103.2) and 2017 (1,095.6).


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