INVESTIGATORS from a Barcelona university have said that marriage is particularly good for the health of people between 40 and 50 years old.
Various past studies reported that married people were generally healthier than singles, yet it was unclear whether this was because marriage was good for health or whether healthier people were more likely to get married.
A team of investigators from the UAB University decided to take a closer look at the subject, using data from the US with statistics for American people aged between 20 and 64.
The investigators wanted to see whether healthier people were more inclined to get married. Studies on evolution and biology suggested that some physical and mental features that attract members of the opposite sex were related to good genetics and health, which favour reproduction.
If this was the case, the investigators said, those with a better genetic disposition to be healthy would also have more chances of finding a partner and getting married and this would explain the difference in health between married and single people.
Yet the difference in health between married and single people reduces for younger age groups, therefore investigators concluded that being married does not affect the health of under 40s.
Conclusions reached were that for those over 40, being married does benefit health as spouses tend to make sure their partners look after themselves better and have regular medical check-ups, married couples in the US were more likely to have private medical insurance and married smokers are more likely to manage to give up than singles.