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Marriage, sex fatal for women

Wedlock shortens a woman's life by over a year, reports Vijay Dutt.

india Updated: Feb 27, 2006 00:54 IST
Vijay Dutt
Vijay Dutt

That the institution of marriage has been on the decline in Europe for quite some time is hardly news.

More and more couples choose to live out of wedlock. Assorted factors, from the unique demands of modern living to independent, working women, have been cited to explain away the popularity of what would have been uncommon a generation back. But now, researchers have come up with a new explanation.

A recent survey of over 10,000 people across Europe says wedding rings should come with a health warning, especially for women. Apparently, wedlock shortens a woman's life by over a year. Men, however, benefit from the wedded state -- they get an extra 1.7 years of life.

Why does a woman lose 1.4 years of her life to marriage? The stress of leading dual roles, as working women and homemakers, is thought to be a key element that makes married women die earlier than their single sisters.

The research is silent on whether wives who do not work have a normal lifespan.

The research team led by professor Stefan Felder of Magdeburg University, Germany, also suggested that the effect of regular sex could be detrimental for women's longevity due to hormonal changes. The effect of the same on men was found to be beneficial.

First Published: Feb 27, 2006 00:54 IST