Vitality

Married People Have Lower Levels Of Stress Hormones, Study Says

If you want to stress less, try getting married, because apparently it will lower your levels of a stress hormone.

That’s according to a study in Psychoneuroendocrinology, which says married people they analyzed had less cortisol than people who were not married — including people who were never married and people who were separated, divorced or widowed.

And cortisol is important because although it has other functions, your body releases the hormone when you are under stress. High cortisol levels have been linked to mental illnesses like anxiety and depression as well as the progression of certain medical conditions, among other issues.

Read: How Marriage Makes Men More Charitable

“Married people tend to be healthier than both the previously … and never married, but the mechanisms through which this occurs remain unclear,” the study notes. “Research has increasingly focused on how psychological stress experienced by unmarried versus married individuals may differentially impact physiological systems related to health.”

According to Carnegie Mellon University, in addition to being less healthy than their married counterparts, single people have been shown to experience more psychological stress, and the study findings support that idea.

marriage-equality-749536_1920 Is marriage better or worse for your health? Pixabay, public domain

There were other stressful differences between the three groups, which together numbered almost 600 people. The wedded ones also had “a more rapid decline in cortisol through the afternoon hours” compared to those who were always single, the study says. And higher stress levels produced higher cortisol levels in the people who were previously married as opposed to the currently wed and the other singles.

The fast decline reduces a person’s risk of heart disease and increases the chances of surviving cancer, Carnegie Mellon said.

Researchers have long documented the positives and negatives of marriage. That includes its effects on both health and social factors. One study looked at how people’s views of marriage correlated with the amount of time they spent volunteering, while other researchers have found that bad relationships can be linked to a higher risk of heart disease, a slower recovery for illness and overall poor health, according to Live Science.

“These data provide important insight into the way in which our intimate social relationships can get under the skin to influence our health,” laboratory director and co-author Sheldon Cohen said in the Carnegie Mellon statement.

Source: Chin B, Murphy MLM, Janicki-Deverts D, Cohen S. Marital status as a predictor of diurnal salivary cortisol levels and slopes in a community sample of healthy adults. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2017.

See also:

Can You Be Allergic To A Human Being? Woman Cannot Tolerate Husband

Men’s Brains Just Cannot Multitask

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