Study finds single men worse off than smokers

LifeSite News

The health benefits of marriage are so large that single men suffer worse health effects than smokers, according to a new study. Professor Andrew Oswald of Warwick University, north of Oxford, England, studied thousands of records from the British Household Panel Survey and the British Retirement Survey. He found that, even when the effects of smoking, drinking and other unhealthy activities were factored in, married men had a much lower risk of death. Over a seven-year period, the married male had a nine per cent lower, and a married female 2.9 per cent lower, risk compared to the unmarried. But a male smoker had a 5.8 per cent greater risk, and a female smoker, 5.1 per cent. The reasons for the positive marriage effect are hard to quantify, Oswald said. But the most likely factor is the “social support” of having a wife or husband nearby. Another explanation is that both single men and women tend to have a less healthy lifestyle including sleep, diet and work habits, and tend to be more prone to negative factors such as loneliness and depression.