Men in unhappy marriages 'more likely to die from stroke'

A new study has found that men who are unhappy with their marriages are more likely to die from a stroke.

Researchers at Tel Aviv University analysed health data taken over three decades from almost 9,000 Israeli men and came to the conclusion that unhappy marriages could be fatal for men.

The male participants, who were aged 40 years old or older, were asked to rank their marriages on a scale of one to four.

Those who indicated that they were dissatisfied with their marriages and rated them the lowest were 69 per cent more likely to die from a stroke compared to husbands who gave their marriages the highest score.

The unhappily married men were also 19 per cent more likely, on average, to die during the 32-year-long study than those who had a successful marriage.

The team also discovered that the age of the participant also made a difference and that younger men fared worse. In the group of men who were least satisfied with their marriage, the mortality rate was significantly higher for those younger than 50.

"What we found, which is surprising, is that dissatisfaction among men with their marriage is a risk factor for death, of a similar magnitude to smoking, or men failing to exercise," lead researcher Dr Shahar Lev-Ari told The Times of Israel.

He believes that health authorities should start promoting marriage therapy to help people live longer.

"This research strongly suggests that marital satisfaction and marital resilience is worth investment by public health authorities, just as they invest in preventing smoking and promoting physical exercise," he said.

The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine.