Divorce Can Raise Risk of Early Death

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A new study suggests divorce raises the risk of early death.

Researchers from the University of Arizona reviewed 32 published studies, found that divorced adults have a significantly higher risk of early death compared with married adults.

The researchers followed more than 6.5 million adults for an average of 11 years. They report the risk of dying early is 23 percent greater among divorced adults than married couples.

Divorced men had a 31 percent increased risk for early death, while women had an 18 percent increased risk.

Researchers say this could be because women make many of the health-related decisions in a relationship.

The study's lead author, University of Arizona psychology professor David Sbarra, said he was surprised at the final result.

"We thought there was some risk," he told USA Today. "But we didn't think the risk elevation would be as substantial as other very serious public-health risks."

Sbarra said more research is needed to study divorce and the body's health-related responses.

The study was published recently in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science.

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