A new study conducted by researchers in the United Kingdom suggests that marriage is more beneficial to men compared with women as they experience a substantial improvement in health after tying the knot.
Scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the London School of Economics and the University College London have discovered that men who have settled down are 14 percent less likely to suffer heart issues than single men.
The study also revealed that single middle-aged women have the same likelihood to develop metabolic problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes, as married women.
"Being married appears to be more beneficial for men," population health specialist Dr. George Ploubidis of the UCL's Institute of Education said in an interview.
"Not marrying or cohabiting is less detrimental among women than men."
In their study, featured in The American Journal of Public Health, Ploubidis and his colleagues examined data collected in 4 waves - 1981, 1991, 2000 and 2002-2004 - from more than 10,000 people born in Scotland, Wales and England in one week in March 1958.
They found that single men had a higher risk of suffering breathing problems compared with single women.
The study also pointed out that unmarried men were 14 percent more likely to experience problems with their heart than unmarried women.
Another finding of the research showed that a divorce did not affect the health of both men and women in the relationship, but this was dependent on finding a new partner after the break up.
Women who got divorced while they were still in their mid-to-late 20s experienced a 31 percent reduction in risks for developing metabolic issues compared with women who chose to stay married.
Ploubidis explained that previous studies have found that people who got married have better health than single people.
Their study, however, showed that people who got separated, divorced and remarried had the similar health levels in their middle age to those who got married.
The findings also showed that contrary to earlier suggestions that men who get divorced experience a decline in their health, they instead revert back to their predivorce health levels.
Ploubidis added that those men who got divorced in their late 30s and chose not to remarry were less likely to suffer from diabetes-related conditions in the early part of the middle age than those who got remarried.
The latest study is the first of its kind to determine potential connections between the status of partnership and the health of people in their middle age. The researchers used a large population sample that underwent medical examinations.
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