Smoking and Lack of Exercise Linked to Early Death After Divorce

Smoking and Lack of Exercise Linked to Early Death After Divorce

A growing body of research links divorce to a wide range of poor health outcomes, including greater risk for early death. However, the reason for the connection is not well understood.

A new study by the University of Arizona points to two possible culprits: a greater likelihood of smoking after divorce and lower levels of physical activity.

“We were trying to fill in the gap of evidence linking marital status and early mortality,” said UA psychology doctoral student Kyle Bourassa, lead author of the study, which is published in Annals of Behavioral Medicine. “We know marital status is associated with both psychological and physical health, and one route from divorce to health risk is through health behaviors, like smoking and exercise. We also know that health behaviors are often linked to psychological variables, like life satisfaction.”

Bourassa and his UA colleagues David Sbarra and John Ruiz based their findings on data from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging, a long-term health study of adults over age 50 living in Great Britain. The study includes seven waves of data, collected from participants every two years beginning in 2002.

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Published Date: 
05/29/2018 - 09:46