Stay single, die sooner!

Los Angeles: Adults who never marry may not live as long as their wedded peers, new research from the University of Califronia suggests.

While the protective effect of marriage on health and longevity has been pointed out before, newer research is zeroing in on the never-married folks. Staying single all your life may not be good for your health or your lifespan, the researchers have found.

The team looked at the 1997 U.S. National Death Index and the 1989 National Health Interview Survey. In 1989, almost half of the people surveyed were married; about 10 percent were widowed; 12 percent divorced; 3 percent separated; 5 percent living with someone; and 20 percent had never married.

Compared with married people, those who had never been married were 58 percent more likely to have died at the end of the study’s eight-year follow up period.
By comparison, those who were widowed were nearly 40 percent more likely to die during the follow-up than were married participants, while those who had been divorced or separated were 27 percent more likely to die.

Still, the UCLA researchers, who published the study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, said the findings can’t prove cause and effect.