Not surprisingly, marriage been shown to have positive health benefits, while a divorce or the death of a spouse has a negative impact on health.
A recent study has shown that:
Middle-aged and older Americans who were currently married tended to give higher ratings to their health than their never-married counterparts. They also reported fewer depression symptoms and limits on their mobility.
On the other hand, divorced or widowed adults fared worse than the never married on certain health measures -- including the number of chronic health conditions reported. "Previously married people experience, on average, 20 percent more conditions and 23 percent more limitations," the researchers write in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.”
The results of this study seem somewhat obvious - divorce increases stress and the negative effects of stress on the body are well documented.
On the other hand, the study failed to measure the health effects of couples in less than blissful marriages. Past studies have found that people who remain in an unhappy marriage may have increased risks of health problems like high blood pressure, depression and heart disease.