Single People Likely to Die Much Earlier Than Their Married Peers

on August 21 2011 1:09 AM
A new study has revealed that people who do not have their other half could have serious health issues and might die much earlier.
A new study has revealed that people who do not have their other half could have serious health issues and might die much earlier. REUTERS

For some people, living a single life is full of fun and freedom, but it has some serious side effects that one can't afford to ignore. A new study has revealed that people who do not have their other half could have serious health issues and might die much earlier.

According to the study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, single men have higher risk of death (32 percent) than married men across a lifetime, compared to single women, whose risk of death is 23 percent higher than married women.

To make it simpler, in the worse-case scenario, single men could die eight to 17 years earlier than their married counterparts, while single women could die seven to 15 years earlier than their married peers.

Researchers at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, analyzed 90 previous studies that were conducted on the subject over the past 60 years. The studies included around 500 million people. Divorced or widowed people were not considered as single people, researchers said.

One of the key areas the research emphasized on was the fact that compared to single men, single women had higher life expectancy rate.

The report showed just how poorly the singles do, said David Roelfs, assistant professor of sociology at the university. With the concurrent decline in public assistance, health benefits and the family wage in Western societies, single women are more economically and medically marginalized now than in previous years and are therefore at a higher risk for health problems and early death.

Married couples tend to have stronger support network around them, while single people, even if there are parents, family and friends for them, have less social support by default, Roelfs said.

However, for those people, who survive a single youth, risk of death dramatically decreased during their later stage of life. The risk of death for 30 to 39-year-old singles was 128 per cent higher than married people of the same age. On the other hand, 70-year-old singles had only 16 percent higher risk of death.

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