Most studies report a positive relationship between marital status and health, with findings consistent across cultures and countries. Gender effects are significant, with men demonstrating greater health benefit than women. The vast majority of the research has examined heterosexual marriages, yet there has been rapid evolution in society of cohabitation patterns, who can marry, and roles in marriage. In this review, we summarise research findings and discuss important future challenges. Broader work looking at the impact of social connectedness, loneliness and support on survival should be supported. Human relationships are crucial to our health and wellbeing - caring and support promote significantly better health outcomes.
Keywords: Gender effects; Healthy aging; Marriage; Men’s health; Quality of life; Women’s health.
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