Married couples often have the same medical problems, study shows

That whole “in sickness and in health” promise during standard wedding vows could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. That’s what researchers behind a new study report: They have found that married couples often share the same medical problems and similar physical traits. Read on to find out more – and to ensure your health and that of others, don’t miss this one Certain Signs You May Have Already Had COVID.

Young couple sitting on couch in front of psychologist and listening to her advice during meeting

For the study, just published in the log atherosclerosis, researchers looked at 5,391 couples from Japan and 28,265 from the Netherlands, using data from two long-term studies: the Tohoku Medical Megabank Project and the Lifelines study in the Netherlands.

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Couple talking in waiting room

Couple talking in waiting room

The average of men and women ages were 50 and 47.7 in the Dutch study and 63.2 and 60.4 in the Japanese study, respectively. The Tohoku project followed its couples for three years and the Lifelines study for seven.

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Happy couple having a breakfast in the bed.  Romantic moments at home.  They watch TV in the bedroom.

Happy couple having a breakfast in the bed. Romantic moments at home. They watch TV in the bedroom.

Researchers found that couples in both countries shared

  • Similar lifestyle habits such as smoking and drinking

  • Similar physical characteristics, including weight, waist circumference and BMI

  • Similar Blood Pressure, Cholesterol and Triglycerides

  • Related Incidents of Hypertension (High Blood Pressure, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome)

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Senior African American couple exercising in the park

Senior African American couple exercising in the park

“Many of the correlations were between couples with low genetic similarity and high lifestyle similarity, suggesting the importance of healthy choices,” Tohoku University said in a press release. The researchers suggested “couple care counseling and a healthy dose of competition between partners encouraging each other to improve their health, especially against diseases shaped by lifestyle and environment.”

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The new study is just the latest to find a link between marriage and health.

  • Married people tend to live longer and healthier lives than people who have divorced or stayed single.

  • A 2018 study found that frequent marital conflict worsens the health of both women and men, but especially for men.

  • A 2019 study found that, surprisingly, unhappily married men have a lower risk of developing diabetes and a better response to treatment if they do get it. The study’s lead author hypothesizes that a woman’s nagging may prompt men to seek better medical care.

  • Happier, a 2015 Yale study found that men who exercise more have women who are less depressed.

And to get through this pandemic as healthy as possible, don’t miss this one 35 places you are most likely to get COVID.