Having A Happy Spouse May Increase Life Expectancy
Previous studies have found that a person’s spouse can have a
large impact on their life in areas of career success, lifestyle, and mental
health. According to a new study, your spouse’s life satisfaction may also influence
your life expectancy.
The researchers used data from the Health and Retirement Study
for their study. Participants included 4,400 couples in the United States who
were over the age of 50. Participants and their spouses reported on life
satisfaction for up to 8 years. They also reported on perceived partner
support, levels of physical activity and health measures. The researchers
tracked participants deaths for 8 years.
At the end of the study period, 16% of participants had died.
Those who died tended to report lower relationship satisfaction, lower life
satisfaction, and had a spouse that reported lower life satisfaction. A higher
level of spouse life satisfaction was associated with a 13% lower mortality
In addition, those who died during the 8-year period tended to be
male, older, less educated, less wealthy, less physically active, and in poorer
health. The spouses of participants who died were more likely to die during the
8-year period than spouses of participants who were still alive.
The study was conducted by researchers from Tilburg University,
The Netherlands. It was published online ahead of print on March 21, 2019 in the