Why a happy marriage can ease the pain of arthritis

Mail Online (UK) 19th November 2010
A happy marriage helps ease the agony of arthritis, research suggests. Rheumatoid arthritis patients who had the support of a loving husband or wife reported less joint pain and better mobility than those who were single or whose marriage was on the rocks. Scientists believe the emotional stability that a strong marriage provides also has a powerful effect on physical sensations, such as pain.
The findings, published in the Journal of Pain, support earlier studies which found the crippling disease progressed more slowly in married than single people. But the latest research suggests that the state of the marriage is key. ‘These findings suggest the links between being married and health depend on the quality of the marriage, not simply whether or not someone is married,’ said research leader Dr Jennifer Barsky Reese, from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA. ‘There is something about being in a high-quality marriage that seems to buffer a patient’s emotional health.’