A study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine found that unhappy marriages, mostly in men, are associated with higher mortality.
Researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel have analyzed health data from about 9,000 men in more than three decades. They concluded that those who were dissatisfied with the quality of their marriage had a higher risk factor for stroke and other serious conditions that could lead to death.
Following the worrying results of the study, the team called on healthcare professionals to launch widespread promotion of marital therapy as a means of mitigating potential risks.
The researchers also reviewed the health data of 8945 Israeli men who participated in one of the previous mortality studies, following the results. It began specifically in 1965. Men, most of whom worked in government or similar positions, were asked to rate their marriages on a scale of one to four.
Men who “had” the lowest number of marriages were 69 percent more likely to die of a stroke (40.6 per 10,000 people) than those who had several marriages.
Younger men are worse off
The researchers also found that the mortality rate was higher in people under the age of 50 (39.4%) who were dissatisfied with their marriage. For older participants, the value was 6.5 percent lower.
“We have found, surprisingly, that men’s dissatisfaction with their marriage is similar in risk to death as smoking, or at the same level as men who do not exercise at all,” Dr. Shahar Lev- Ari. His statement was also quoted by the Telegraph server.
He also explained why he decided to review data from a study begun in 1965. It’s simple – experts in general today have a much better understanding of the links between psychological well-being and physical health than before.
“We found that the marital satisfaction of these men at the beginning of the study was in fact a predictive factor for death in general, as well as the cause of the stroke.”
“Assessing marital satisfaction and evaluating the health benefits of marriage education programs for young couples should therefore, in our view, be part of health promotion in the general population,” the study said.