London: Those who think that they will get third time lucky by tying the knot thrice need to get their facts right—for saying “I do” multiple times could actually send them to an early grave.
A new research has found that those who wed three or more times are apparently a third more likely to die before their time than those who marry for life.
It may be that stress of multiple marriage break-ups or bereavements is too much for the body to bear.
Alternatively, those who flit from husband to husband, or wife to wife, may also have a rather cavalier attitude to their own health, say researchers.
Famous names with three marriages under their belt include 65-year-old Rod Stewart and Tom Cruise, 48.
The U.S. researchers studied the health and personal lives of almost 9,000 men and women in their 60s and 70s. Most had married at least once.
Echoing previous research, the analysis found that those who had been married fared better than bachelors and spinsters.
This could be because people who are married take better care of themselves, perhaps because they feel they have more to live for.
They also benefit from the added support and from expanding their network of friends.
But, delving deeper, it became apparent that too many trips down the aisle are bad for health.
In general, those who had clocked up at least three weddings were 34 per cent more likely to die at any given time after the age of 50 than those who had limited themselves to just one union.
While it is not clear why this happens, it could be related to the stress of break-ups, divorces or the death of a spouse.
It is also possible that those who fail to take care of their marriage also fail to take care of their health.
For instance, those with multiple marriages were also more likely to smoke.
It might be that the stress of the break-up led them to take up smoking, or that those in a stable marriage are more likely to quit.
“Some personality characteristic, for example conscientiousness, might lead someone to be a better spouse and engage in positive health behaviours,” the Daily Mail quoted researcher John Henretta, of the University of Florida in Gainesville, as saying.
The study has been published in the Journal of Aging and Health.