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Divorce bad for your health? Not so fast, researchers say

There may be no limit to the amount of myths and untruths that abound concerning divorce, but a group of researchers may be able to put one popular myth to rest. It has long been believed that a divorce can negatively impact a person's health, and while that may be true to a certain extent, the real impact is hardly notable in the long term. Oregon couples who might have been putting off divorce for fear of suffering ill health might want to pay attention to the results of this recent study.

To understand how marriage and divorce can affect a person's health over their lifetime, researchers chose to examine couples who were born in 1958. In an effort to make the pool of candidates as uniform as possible, all subjects were not only born in the same year but also in the same week. Ultimately, they concluded that while there is an immediate, short-term impact on health, as time passed, divorced individuals returned to the same level of health that they enjoyed while married.

In particular, researchers compared couples who remained married for the entire length of the study to those who divorced but later remarried. Those who went through a divorce did not experience any higher risk for serious health problems, like cardiovascular issues. The same rings true for those who chose not to remarry, with their overall levels of well-being remaining exceedingly similar to their peers. Men who chose to divorce while between the ages of 30 and 40 years old perhaps had the most favorable health results, as the study concluded that they were at a lessened risk for developing diabetes as opposed to those who remained married.

So what can Oregon couples take away from this study? Divorce apparently does not have any real or long-lasting effect on a person's health or well-being. However, for many unhappy couples, divorce can be the most appropriate course of action to take in order to move on toward a happier future.

Source: medicalxpress.com, "Can't help falling in love? Why divorce and separation might not be that bad for your health", June 14, 2015

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