Singletons at risk of dying 7-15 yrs earlier than married counterparts

Updated: Aug 20, 2011, 13:31 PM IST

London: Staying single can be fun for many; but according to a new study, leading a solo lifestyle could have serious health implications.

Researchers at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, have found that single women were at risk of dying seven to 15 years earlier than their married counterparts.

Single men fared even worse, with their married peers living eight to 17 years longer.

Researchers studied data from around 500 million people by analysing 90 previous studies conducted over the past 60 years.

Their findings showed that single men were at a 32 per cent increased risk of dying over a lifetime when compared with married men, and single women were at a 23 per cent higher risk than married women.

David Roelfs, assistant professor of sociology at the university, said that the report showed “just how poorly the singles do”.

He said the results could be explained by the fact that married couples tend to have a stronger support network around them.

“If you’re a couple, a spouse may be after you to eat better and go the doctor,” the Daily Mail quoted him as telling the American Journal of Epidemiology.

“Sometimes it’s just easier to be healthier and less of a risk taker when you’re married,” he added.

But for those that survive a single youth, the study found that the risk of death decreased dramatically in old age.

While the risk of death for single 30 to 39-year-olds was 128 per cent higher than married people of the same age, the figure dropped to 16 per cent in relation to 70-year-olds.

Roelfs said that his research was not reason to overreact though, as it was based on “probabilities, not certainties.”

ANI