Is marriage good for your health? It depends who you’re married to

New research has found being married has protective health effects – unless it doesn’t

If there’s one thing Disney screenwriters, social conservatives, the patriarchy and the wedding industrial complex can agree on, it’s that marriage is good for you. And there are a lot of studies to back that up. The latest, by researchers at the Aston medical school in Birmingham, which analysed data from more than 900,000 patients, found that those with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol were more likely to survive if they were married than those who were single. The protective effect was put down to increased social support and care, such as your spouse nagging you to make lifestyle changes and take medication. Last year, the same team were part of a group that found married people were more likely to survive a heart attack.

Other studies have found married people have lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, than their single counterparts, and were 10%-15% less likely to die early. If you’re reading this while single, and you’re feeling depressed or anxious, don’t be surprised – if you were married, you would be less likely to suffer from either.

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