Marriage can improve a woman's health but can cause severe health complications in men, a new study reports.

Early marriage for men is "a turning point that influences the rest of their lives or at least a good portion of their lives," Michael McFarland, a Princeton University sociologist, told LiveScience.

The study is a preliminary investigation presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. The study included 528 women and 534 men between the ages of 57 and 75. Researchers assessed their waist circumference, inflammation and blood pressure.

The study found that women married for more than 10 years had a 13 percent lower risk of heart disease. For men, marrying later was better than marrying early. Waiting five years could mean a 30 percent decrease in inflammation.

Other studies have shown that people divorced or widowed show more chronic health conditions in old age.

Previous research has shown that married men are more likely to keep-up with a doctor's appointment than single men because their wives remind them constantly. While women, married or single, get health check-ups regularly. Also, men are more likely to exercise and eat healthy when they are married than when they are single.

However, the new study suggests that chronic care actually leads to health complications in men.

"So if healthy women are marrying somewhat unhealthy men, do they get into a caretaking role? We know in past literature that chronic caretaking, especially among older adults, has some negative health outcomes," McFarland said.

The study "does a really interesting job of just showing us the nuances of risk among men and women across age," said Bridget Goosby, a University of Nebraska, Lincoln sociologist. Goosby wasn't part of the present study, Livescience reports

A recent study showed that marriage affects people differently based on various factors like it has positive effects on the health of men who were less educated but has negative effects on women who had higher education.