NEW YORK -- A new study published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior says that losing a spouse, whether through divorce or death, can have serious effects on one's overall health. The damage can last even if the person remarries, the research finds.
"We argue that losing a marriage through divorce or widowhood is extremely stressful and that a high-stress period takes a toll on health," University of Chicago sociology professor Linda J. Waite said in a press statement on Monday. "Think of health as money in the bank. Think of a marriage as a mechanism for 'saving' or adding to health. Think of divorce as a period of very high expenditures."
The study examined 8,652 Americans who had filled out a 1992 national health survey. All were at least 50 years old now. Fifty-five percent of them had been continually married, four percent had always been single, and the remaining 41% had gone through at least one instance of divorce or widowhood.
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