October 14, 2011
Marriage Plays Factor In Cancer Survival
Men and women who have never been married are more likely to die from cancer, according to new research published in the journal BMC Public Health.
The study looked at changes in cancer survival over the past 40 years and the difference in mortality between those who have been married and those who have never been married.Researchers looked at survival data from patients diagnosed with cancer between 1970 and 2007 and compared this to their marital status.
The team found that the unmarried have a greater risk of mortality regardless of age, education, site of tumor, time since diagnosis, and cancer stage.
The researchers also found that the effect of never having been married on mortality increased from 18 percent o 35 percent for men and from 17 percent to 22 percent in women.
"The differences in survival between unmarried and married people with cancer could possibly be explained by better general health at time of diagnosis or better adherence to treatment regimes and follow ups," Hakon Kravdal from the University of Oslo said in a press release.
"One problem with this kind of study is that cohabiting people are scattered throughout the never married, divorced/separated, or widowed groups. Consequently, presuming cohabiters to have the same benefits as married couples, the actual differences between couples and singletons are probably much higher."
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