However, marriage is still meaningful, the authors said, as widowers reported themselves in poorer health than husbands. The gap widened every year.
MSU author Hui Liu, assistant professor of sociology, said Monday the study shows that policy promoting marriage for health may be outdated, as other forms of long-term commitment become more common.
The study also suggests that widows and widowers need strong reinforcement and community support help to keep themselves mentally and physically healthy.
Liu studied more than 1 million surveys taken by people 25 to 80 years old between 1972 and 2003. Each year, more never-married men described themselves as healthy, a number starting to catch up with married men. – freep