Getting hitched can be good for your health! A recent study has found that people who are married are healthier than those who aren’t because they have less stress.
The study by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University was published in the journal of Psychoneuroendocrinology, and found that married people had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, compared to those who were never married or previously married.
The findings support a belief that unmarried people face more psychological stress than married folk.
Prolonged stress can increase cortisol levels, which then interfere with the body’s ability to regulate inflammation. This in turn can lead to the development and progression of a number of diseases.
The researchers collected saliva samples from 573 healthy adults aged 21 to 55 over three non-consecutive days. They took multiple samples during each 24-hour period and tested them for cortisol.
They found that married participants had lower cortisol levels than the never married or previously married people over the three-day period.
The researchers also compared each participant’s daily cortisol rhythm. Typically, cortisol levels peak when a person wakes up and then decline throughout the day. Married people showed a faster decline of cortisol levels, a pattern that’s associated with less heart disease and longer survival in cancer patients.