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Marrying a Younger Man Shortens a Woman's Life Expectancy

Marry Up? Robbing the Cradle Could Shorten Your Life

Add this to the cons of being a cougar: while men who marry younger women live longer, women who join up with their juniors actually cut their lives short. According to new data from the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, the bigger the age difference between husband and wife, the lower the wife's life expectancy, whether her mate is older or younger.

Previously, scientists thought that marrying younger partners would benefit members of both sexes:

They assumed an effect called "health selection" was in play; those who select younger partners are able to do so because they are healthier and thus already have a higher life expectancy. It was also thought that a younger spouse has a positive psychological and social effect on an older partner and can be a better caretaker in old age, thereby helping to extend the partner's life.

But no! For women, getting hitched to someone seven to nine years younger can actually increase her mortality risk by 20 percent. On average, women outlive men by five years, a stat often cited by cougars and the cubs who love them as a reason to go after younger men.

Looks like robbing the cradle isn't the secret of eternal youth. But here's the good news for women who want to marry up, or down: being married raises life expectancy for both women and men. So I say, take the partner of your choosing and take your chances.
Photo copyright 2010 ABC, Inc.

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Join The Conversation
farmerdori2 farmerdori2 5 years
Mine is 16 years younger and it works great. I have never been happier. I think being happy and less stress is going to make for a longer life. Either way I will go a happy, loved, and satisfied women.
Pistil Pistil 5 years
Yes, death by skiing. That makes the study valid.
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 5 years
I guess it's the stress of worrying about him checking out young cubs.
sugajen sugajen 5 years
Well its statistics are probably based on lifestyle choices of these couples. A 44 year old woman skiing with her 20 something boyfriend, something she normally wouldn't do, is more likely to die. but statistics are just that. I'm sure each couple is different and some are more "safe" than others.
chillchic chillchic 5 years
Spacekat, it says that large age differences shorten the women's life whether she's older or younger. I guess it's a good thing I follow the high school rule (basically 3 years either way.)
KadBunny KadBunny 5 years
I'm not surprised. I'm sure all the extra hot sex poses more danger. :P Seriously though this sounds bogus.
snarkypants snarkypants 5 years
is it quack science today or something? what's with all the "research"?
Spiderlove Spiderlove 5 years
Uh oh... mine is 4 years younger than me- I'm totally calling off the wedding now. So I don't die earlier. (I'm SOOOOO kidding. )
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