Married people are healthier

By HSC Staff Writer • Published: January 16th, 2006
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Single people who say they’re sick of being alone could be right. Literally.

Married adults tend to be healthier than their unmarried counterparts, according to a four-year study by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study compared responses from one-hundred-thousand men and women who were married, divorced, widowed, living with a partner or never married.

The results showed married people were less likely to rate their health as fair or poor. They were also less likely to have physical limitations or serious psychological distress.

Unhealthy habits including inactivity, smoking and heavy drinking were least common among the wedded. But there was an exception… married men were most likely to be overweight or obese.

Perhaps the study’s most intriguing finding was that adults who lived with a partner were almost always less healthy than married people. The results suggest there’s more to matrimony than mere companionship.

The study didn’t try to explain why it’s healthier to be hitched. But two popular theories offer opposing viewpoints.

One, called marriage protection, suggests that people benefit economically, socially and psychologically after they get married. Those advantages result in better health.

The other theory, marriage selection, argues that healthier people are the ones most likely to get married in the first place.

Whatever the reason, one thing’s for sure… brides and grooms can now feel a little better about reciting the part of the wedding vows where they commit to each other “in sickness and in health.”