Age gap can be deadly for married women


There is a famous saying that “Marriages are made in heaven”. People from almost every culture follow a custom to marry with opposite gender with the commitment of togetherness. It is the most beautiful celebration and has always been looked as a gateway to happiness, social harmony and mutual bonding.  Earlier researches show that marriage increases the life expectancy of couples.  Couples enjoy the time together, share happy moments and fight against bad times that come their way. However, a recent study reveals that an age gap between couples play an important role and may increase the risk of mortality. 

What were the main results of age gap study?
The study was conducted by Mr. Derfahl in Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany and published in the May 12 issue of the Journal Demograph. Dr. Derfahl studied and examined the records of two million Dutch couples and found the following results:

  • Seven to nine year age gap between husband and wife caused woman’s mortality rate to increase by 20%.
  • Mortality risk of husband who is seven to nine years older than his wife is reduced by 11%.
  • For women, the greater the age difference with her husband, the lower her life expectancy, regardless of whether she is younger or older than her spouse. 

 Drefahl based on his research suggested that the best choice is to marry a man of exactly the same age. 

Catherine Zeta-Jones & Michael Douglas make a pairing with a large age gap

line-height: 150%;">Though Drefahl performed a great research and used large data pool, but there are still several questions about the reduced life expectancy as claimed in his studies?  According to Drefahl, women who marry much differently-aged spouses either younger or older, experience increased stress and less social support. Women might feel like violating social norms that could lead a less happy life, increasing illness and ultimately, death.    

Researcher also mentioned that still; being married, in general, does raise life expectancy of both men and women than those who are unmarried.  And generally, women’s life expectancy worldwide is generally greater than men’s by a few years. 

In India as a tradition of marriage, male is generally 3-4 years older to female. Having some age gap helps to lead a happy married life. Being a mature person, male can take better decisions and can tackle the situation calmly, if needed, in comparison to same age couple. Since childhood I have seen hundreds and thousands married couples that have spent 80% time of their life together after their marriage. Since older age invites itself  various health problems, it can also be the reason of short life span.   

In any event, the new research makes a positive note that marriage generally improves life expectancy and the concerning point is just the age difference. So, if you are looking for date or to get married, you may want to add the age factor in your list of factors to match.  


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