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After decades of declining marriage rates and changes in family structure, the share of American adults who have never been married is at an historic high. Inone-in-five adults ages 25 and older about 42 million people had never been married, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of census data. The dramatic rise in the share of never-married adults and the emerging gender gap are related to a variety of factors. Adults are marrying later in life, and the shares of adults cohabiting and raising children outside of marriage have increased ificantly. The median age at first marriage is now 27 for women and 29 for men, up from 20 for women and 23 for men in

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To investigate the relation between marital status and survival.

Record share of americans have never married

Among NHIS respondents, 8. Controlling for demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, the death rate for people who were unmarried was ificantly higher than it was for those who were married and living with their spouses. Although the effect was ificant for all of unmarried, it was strongest for those who had never married. The never married effect was seen for both sexes, and was ificantly stronger for men than for women.

For the youngest age group 19—44the predominant causes of early death among adults who had never married were infectious disease presumably HIV and external causes. In the middle aged and older men and women, the predominant causes were cardiovascular Married white male 4 marriedfemale other chronic diseases. Current marriage is associated with longer survival. Among the not marriedhaving never been married was the strongest predictor of premature mortality.

It is difficult to assess the causal effect of marital status from these observational data. A variety of studies have suggested that supportive social networks promote longer life expectancy. In particular, we focus on those who have never married. Adults with marriages are likely to have offspring that stimulate continuing family contact. In contrast, those who have never married might be more socially isolated than those who have been widowed or divorced. Thus, we predict that the health consequences of being unmarried will be strongest for the never married adults.

The studies reported in the literature have several limitations. In most studies, the of deaths is too few to evaluate the relation between social connectedness and specific causes of death. Furthermore, most studies are too small to evaluate the relation between social connectedness and mortality at different points along the age range. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the relation between marital status and longevity using data from the US national health interview survey and the national death index. Data were from the NIHS.

Marital status and longevity in the united states population

The questionnaire also asks about acute and chronic conditions that were responsible for disabilities, limitations, or health care visits. The NHIS includes a measure of self perceived health status using theexcellent, very good, good, fair, and poor. The NDI captures death records on the basis of state vital statistics reports. Weighted multiple logistic regressions were used to estimate the association between marital status and mortality.

We estimated a total of 21 regressions: three variations for each of seven outcome variables, where the outcome variables were all cause mortality as well as mortality from each of the six causes—infectious disease 2. In the second regression we included interactions of never married with age and sex, allowing the effect of being never married to vary by age and sex. In the third regression of each set we included interactions of never married with self reported health status.

With regard to education at baseline, 6.

About Thirty nine per cent of the participants rated their health as excellent, The main focus of the study is on marital status. Among the participants, Our analyses exclude the small of unmarried respondents who were living with a partner or had unknown marital status. The divorced and separated groups were combined into a single category. Age was initially aggregated into 10 year intervals, with the exception of a five year block for those 19—24 years. Because of the small s in some cells, age was later aggregated into three larger : young 19—44 yearsmiddle adult 45—64 yearsand older adult 65 years or older.

We investigate the association between marital status and all cause mortality, as well as the association with cause specific mortality.

The separated or divorced category peaked during midlife ages 35—54 and declined later in life. Widowers increased rapidly with age, beginning about age As expected, the risk of dying from all causes increases sharply as the population ages. The strongest risk was seen for the never married people who were 1. Other variables included in the model were related to mortality in expected directions. In comparison with those who reported themselves to be in excellent health, there was a systematic increase in the probability of death for those with lower self reported health, with an odds ratio over 4.

If anything, there is a slight protective effect for being Hispanic.

Never married men age 19 to 44 were 2. The never married penalty declined with age among men, reaching an odds ratio of 1. Among women, there was no evidence of an age gradient in the never married penalty, with odds ratios of 1.

The never married penalty was greater among men than among women in the youngest age group, about equal in the middle age group, and larger among women than among men among the elderly group. Covariates include ethnicity, education, personal care source, veteran status, head of household, and major activity limitation. One explanation for the never married penalty is that sick people require greater support. Thus we would expect that the never married penalty to be stronger for those with lower health status.

We saw a clear monotonic relation between self rated health and probability of death between and We examined this issue in more detail by considering the odds ratio of death for the never married compared with currently married status separately for those who rated their own health as excellent, very good, good, or fair. To investigate the association between being never married and specific causes of death, we estimated logistic regressions with specific causes of death as the dependent variable. The figure replicates work showing that being divorced or widowed increases the risks of death attributable to cardiovascular disease and cancer, as well as all cause mortality.

Furthermore, having never been married was equivalent to being widowed as a risk for death from cardiovascular diseases. There were only two causes cancer and pulmonary disease for which being never married was not a ificant risk factor relative to being married.

The table also lists confidence intervals. Embolded cells show that never married people are ificantly different from those who were married. For middle aged men, increased risk associated with being never married was greatest for cardiovascular and infectious diseases. For infectious disease and all cause mortality, there was no differentiation by age for men.

For cardiovascular disease, the relative risk of being never married was greater for older men than younger men. For pulmonary disease, accidents, homicides and suicides, and other causes, the point estimates suggest that being never married was a greater relative risk factor for younger than for older men.

Other includes all deaths not in any other category.

Embolded cells show statistically ificant effects. N reports on the of deaths among both sexes, all ages. A variety of studies have shown that unmarried adults have a higher probability of early death than those that are married. A recent detailed review of the literature 21 does not treat never married as a separate category.

Our suggest that those who are never married are at greater risk than those who are separated and divorced.

Racial differences in the effect of marriageable males on female family hehip

To observe the impact of never married status upon different causes of death and at different ages, a large sample is required. Among the published studies, only Johnson and colleagues have reported on a large cohort. However, they did not include the younger age groups, so were unable to identify the increased risk of early infectious disease deaths in younger never married men.

We have shown, as have several other authors, 3522232425262728 that there is an association between being never married and increased risk of death. Hu and Goldman have shown that the effects of being married upon mortality occurs in a wide variety of cultures. Accumulated evidence suggests that social isolation increases the risk of premature death. Marriage is a rough proxy for social connectedness. Among on being unmarried, we suggest that having never married may be associated with more severe isolation because it is associated with greater isolation from children and other family.

The data seem to support the hypothesis that the greater level of social isolation associated with having never married is associated with larger health consequences. We consider several rival explanations for the association between social relationships and mortality. One explanation for the never married penalty is that those who are seriously ill are less suitable as marriage partners. Some of the literature on social support argues that disruption in social ties is stressful and le to poor health outcomes.

It might also be argued that the duration of social isolation has a cumulative effect. They found a cumulative effect of marriage upon life expectancy.

The effects of divorce may be attenuated by remarriage while duration without a female spouse may predict early mortality for younger men. With increasing age, the marriage penalty among men decreases rather than increases. The analysis adjusting for self rated health status did not confirm the hypotheses that the marriage penalty from low health status in the never married.