Medical research. Health records have shown ly that men live longer if they have a younger wife, an effect researchers expected to see mirrored in women who married younger men.
The findings, drawn from the medical records of two million Danish couples, suggest that the best a woman can do is marry a man of about the same age. Women with much younger husbands may die younger on average because they experience more stress, Drefahl speculates. Women tend to have more close friendships outside marriage and so benefit less than men from having a partner.
While the study shows that women on average die younger if there is a large age gap in their relationship, married men and women both tend to live longer than unmarried individuals. A younger spouse may also have a beneficial psychological effect on the older partner and provide them with better care in old age. Ian Sample.
Marrying an older man shortens a woman's lifespan, but having a younger husband reduces it even more, the study found. The older man, however, doesn't," said Drefahl. But a study by Sven Drefahl at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rosktock, Germany, shows that the greater the age gap between a woman and her husband, the shorter her life expectancy, regardless of whether he is older or younger.
Reuse this content. The secret to a longer life is to marry someone the same age, at least if you are a woman, researchers say.
Marriage generally improves life expectancy, but the age gap between a couple affects the life expectancy of men and women very differently. This article is more than 11 years old. Topics Medical research Psychology Relationships news.
Marrying someone younger reduces your mortality rate if you're a man — but increases it if you're a woman. She already has friends for that.
However, Drefahl's study casts doubt on these ideas, since they do not hold for women marrying younger men. The life expectancy of women in general is higher than men, with women born in the UK expected to live to 82 years on average, compared with 78 years for men. Some explanation may lie in the quality of friendships men and women form throughout life. Researchers used to think that healthier individuals were in a better position to choose younger spouses and so already had a longer life expectancy.