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Ethics & Religion
Column #1,924
July 4, 2018
Why Do Married People Live Longer?
By Mike McManus

Marriage is good for your health!

Compared with married people, single people are 42% more likely to have some form of cardiovascular disease. Those who were never married, widowed or divorced are 16% more apt to have coronary heart disease, for example.

The unmarried also had a 43% increased likelihood of death due to coronary heart disease and a 55% increased risk for death from stroke, according to research on two million people aged 42 to 77, in 34 studies carried out in Europe, Scandinavia, North America, the Middle East and Asia reports a study published in Heart magazine.

Interestingly, stroke risk increased for the unmarried and divorced, but not for the widowed. Marriage has a lasting impact.

As this column has previously reported, divorced men live 10 years shorter lives than married men.

  • Single men have a 32% higher risk of death than their married counterparts.
  • About 80% of the causes of cardiovascular disease can be attributed to well-known risk factors such as age, sex, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and diabetes.
  • However, marriage - or the lack of it - may account for 20% of the causes of heart disease.

Why do married men and women live longer?

  • Married couples drink less - both soda and alcohol - and they smoke less.
  • Second, married spouses look out for one another and discourage unhealthy habits. Wives cook healthy meals for their mate. Single men do not eat as well.
  • Third, getting married increases one's life expectancy.

Why? Unmarried men are less likely to exercise and more likely to drink heavily. Married men have a lower risk of depression and a happier retirement. Prodded by their wives, married men are more likely to get regular medical care.

Japanese scientists say that men who have never married are three times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease.

A large study in Finland reports that being unmarried increases the risk of fatal and non-fatal heart attacks in both men and women, whatever their age. By contrast, it reported that married men and women have a "considerably better prognosis of acute cardiac events both before and after hospitalization after reaching the hospital alive."

The study recorded 15,330 "acute cardia syndromes" over ten years, with half (7,703) resulting in death within 28 days. However, death was 58% to 66% higher among unmarried men and 60% to 65% higher in unmarried women - than among married men and women in all age groups.

Mortality rates were higher after 28 days - 60% to 168% higher in unmarried men and 71% to 175% higher in unmarried women than among married men and women.

One reason is that according to a study of 27,779 cancer cases, men who were not married were much more likely to have cancer in an advanced stage by the time they were diagnosed. And married men had a higher survival rate because they often got medical care on a regular basis.

Mortality rates were higher among single older people (65-74 years old). For example, married women died at a rate of 247 per 100,000 people vs. 493 per 100,000 single women.

Another reason married people are more likely to be resuscitated is that a spouse is more apt to call for help quickly.

Divorce is associated with a 35% higher risk of developing heart disease for both men and women, and widowers of both sexes were 16% more likely to have a stroke.

Finally, being alone was associated with a 42% heightened risk of dying from coronary heart disease and a 55% greater risk of stroke.

Married men have better cognitive function and a smaller risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Therefore, my question is simple. Why don't pastors sermonize about the importance of marriage for the health of their church members? Perhaps they don't know the data.

Therefore, I suggest that you clip this column and hand a copy to your pastor, and encourage preaching on the positive power of marriage for both men and women.

Second, I suggest you send a copy to the president of your denomination's state organization, encouraging them to make the data available to all of the pastors in your state.

Here's the bottom line: Married men live 17 years longer than single men because single men's risk of death due to coronary disease is 32% higher than that of married men. And men who have never married are three times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease.

Enough of statistics. Men need Wife Insurance if they want to live 17 years longer.


Copyright (c) 2018 Michael J. McManus, a syndicated columnist and past president of Marriage Savers. To read past columns, go to Hit Search for any topic.

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