The Health Benefits of Marriage

Despite the fact that the institution of traditional marriage is undeservedly taking hits on many fronts in our culture, there are many undeniable benefits and advantages that married couples possess.  To mention just a few areas, married couples enjoy more financial stability, better social support, fewer addiction problems, better family relationships, and greater levels of overall happiness.  In addition to all of these facts demonstrated by research, there is another extremely positive characteristic of marriage that may surprise you.  There are many extraordinary health benefits associated with traditional marriage.

For decades, studies have consistently shown that married adults enjoy overall better physical health than their divorced, cohabitating, or single counterparts.  Indeed, married people live longer and rate higher on virtually all other wellness/health related factors.  And, these health benefits of traditional marriage are consistent across age, race, education and income groups.

Below are just a few of the findings from the numerous research studies on the topic.

  • On average, a married person’s health is comparable to that of an unmarried person who is 10 years younger.
  • People who have never married are 58 percent more likely to die prematurely.
  • A married person with heart disease lives, on average, four years longer than an unmarried person with a healthy heart.
  • The life expectancy for a married person with cancer is longer than an unmarried person without cancer.
  • The life expectancy for a married person 20 pounds overweight is longer than an unmarried person of ideal weight.
  • Married people have healthier blood pressure levels which results in significantly less hypertension versus unmarried people.
  • Married people have healthier blood glucose levels and are significantly less likely to end up with full-blown diabetes.
  • Cancer treatment is up to 17% more likely to be successful when a patient is married.
  • Unmarried people spend twice as much time in hospitals as married people.
  • Married people are less likely to have surgery, get pneumonia, have heart attacks, or develop cancer. 
  • Married people have lower rates of cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease.
  • Married people suffer less from headaches and back pain.
  • Married people have significantly lower rates of mental illness, serious psychological distress, and suicide.
  • Married people live longer, recover from illness quicker, and encounter depression and anxiety at lower rates.
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