Some unions simply don't last. For a variety of reasons, a significant percentage of Florida marriages which once began blissfully come to an end before "death do us part."
Even though divorce may be the best option for some couples, former spouses should be aware that members of couples who split are at a statistically higher risk for early death than individuals who are married, according to a recent study.
Researchers at the University of Arizona recently reviewed dozens of previously published studies before reaching this conclusion. Their review did not draw the distinction that it is divorce itself which leads to a higher risk of early death. However, it did determine that divorced adults are at a nearly 25% higher risk of dying early, as compared to those who are married.
This probability is comparable to the risk of early death faced by heavy drinkers, the obese, heavy smokers and sedentary adults. The risk attributed to divorced men is higher than that for divorced women.
While upsetting, this review leaves many questions unanswered. For example, does divorce affect the probability that a person will have poor health, or is poor health often a precursor for divorce?
These questions are especially intriguing given that previous research supports the conclusion that many divorcees report high levels of satisfaction with their lives. In addition, many divorcees live in excellent health. For survivors of abusive marriages, divorce can even be a catalyst for better health.
Though it is unclear whether or not divorce itself leads to an increased risk of early death, those struggling with the end of a marriage should be aware that the transition could be hazardous to their health. Making good personal choices about your physical and emotional well-being can help make a challenging reality like divorce an excuse for a fresh, healthy new start.
Source: USA Today, "UA study: Divorce can raise risk of early death," Anne Ryman, Jan. 10, 2012