Daily Mail 11 Jan 2013
Being married could be the key to a longer life – by improving your chances of surviving middle age, claim scientists. People who never married were almost three times as likely to die early than those who had been in a stable marriage throughout their adult life US researchers found. The new research suggests for the first time that not having a spouse in midlife increases the risk of dying during those years. Being single after 40, or losing a partner without marrying again, increased the risk of early death during middle age and cut the chances of getting to 60. Even when personality and risky behaviours such as smoking and drinking were accounted for, married people were still 2.3 times more likely to survive. The new study was carried out by Dr Ilene Siegler and colleagues from the department of behavioural sciences at Duke University Medical Center, North Carolina. She said ‘In sum, having a partner during middle age is protective. ‘Being single or losing a partner without replacement are the situations that increase mortality risk during middle age and decrease the probability that one will survive to be elderly.
…A recent huge study carried out in seven European countries found married people enjoy better mental and physical health, and are up to 15 per cent less likely to die prematurely. Meanwhile U.S researchers have found heart bypass patients with supportive spouses are more than three times as likely to still be alive 15 years later than those who have never tied the knot. Plus a Swedish study shows being married protects you against Alzheimer’s in later life, with people who have a partner in middle age at half the risk of developing dementia as those who live alone. Getting divorced and becoming widowed in mid-life raised the risk three-fold. Other work has shown that married people have a better chance of surviving cancer than those who are separated or divorced and tend to live longer than singletons.