Married people are healthier, study finds

New research has indicated married people are living healthier lives than those who are single, divorced or widowed, according to a report in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.

More specifically, the scientists discovered married men and women had smaller amounts of the stress hormone cortisol than those who never married or were earlier married. Continuous stress is has been linked with elevated amounts of cortisol which can restrict the body’s ability to manage inflammation, which advances the development and growth of many physiological ailments.

Less Stress, More Success

The study team said their work adds to previous research that supports the idea unmarried people deal with more psychological stress than married men and women.

“It’s is exciting to discover a physiological pathway that may explain how relationships influence health and disease,” study author Brian Chin, a Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon University, said in a news release.

In the new study, scientists gathered saliva specimens from more than 570 adults in good health between the ages of 21 and 55. A number of specimens were taken during each 24-hour period and analyzed for cortisol.

The outcomes revealed married volunteers had lower cortisol amounts than those who were never married or who had been married. The scientists also evaluated each person’s daily cortisol cycle, which peaks when a person wakes up and drop throughout the day. Those who were married exhibited a faster decrease, a sign that has been connected with less heart disease, and lengthier survival among cancer patients.

“These data provide important insight into the way in which our intimate social relationships can get under the skin to influence our health,” said co-author Sheldon Cohen, a professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon.

Another recent study showed just the possibility of marriage could lead to positive health outcomes. Published in JAMA Pediatrics, the study found laws allowing same-sex marriage were associated with fewer suicide attempts among younger individuals, particularly those who identify as LGBTQ.

The researchers behind that study reported a 7 percent decrease in the percentage of high school students reporting a suicide attempt inside the past year in areas that recently passed laws supporting same-sex marriage. The study gives scientific support as to the public health benefits of legalizing same-sex marriage, which occurred throughout the United States in 2015.


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