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19.Parker-Pope.DivorceHealth

19.Parker-Pope.DivorceHealth - August 4 2009 Well Divorce...

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August 4, 2009 Well Divorce, It Seems, Can Make You Ill By TARA PARKER-POPE Married people tend to be healthier than single people. But what happens when a marriage ends? New research shows that when married people become single again, whether by divorce or a spouse’s death, they experience much more than an emotional loss. Often they suffer a decline in physical health from which they never fully recover, even if they remarry. And in terms of health, it’s not better to have married and lost than never to have married at all. Middle-age people who never married have fewer chronic health problems than those who were divorced or widowed. The findings, from a national study of 8,652 men and women in their 50s and early 60s, suggest that the physical stress of marital loss continues long after the emotional wounds have healed. While this does not mean that people should stay married at all costs, it does show that marital history is an important indicator of health, and that the newly single need to be especially vigilant about stress management and exercise, even if they remarry. “When your spouse is getting sick and about to die or your marriage is getting bad and about to die, your stress levels go up,” said Linda Waite, a sociology professor at the University of Chicago
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