(Telegraph) Marriage is more beneficial for men than women, study shows
Neither staying single nor suffering a divorce appears to have a big health impact on women, a study has shown
Marriage has long been cited as a health booster, with couples living in wedded bliss more likely to live longer and have fewer emotional problems.
Yet a new study suggests that women hardly benefit from tying the knot.
Landmark research by University College London, the London School of Economics and The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that single women do not suffer the same negative health effects as unmarried men.
In fact, middle aged women who had never married had virtually the same chance of developing metabolic syndrome – a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity – as married women.
And although they showed slightly higher levels of a biomarker which signifies an increased risk of breathing problems, it was far lower than the risk of illness for unmarried men. The same was true of a biomarker for heart problems which was raised 14 per cent in men but was barely noticeable in women.
“Not marrying or cohabiting is less detrimental among woman than men,” said Dr George Ploubidis, a population health scientist at the UCL Institute of Education.
“Being married appears to be more beneficial for men.”
The research also showed that getting divorced did not have a harmful impact on future health for either men or women as long as they found a new long-term partner. And women who divorced in mid to late 20s had 31 per cent lower odds of metabolic syndrome, compared to those who stayed married.
“Numerous studies have found that married people have better health than unmarried people,” added Dr George Ploubidis.