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An Ohio State university study has found that, contrary to previous research, marriage may not improve the health of those in a couple when compared to singles. Comparing married people who were born between 1955 and 1984, the investigation found that health benefits have dwindled as time has gone on.

Health benefits were only reported if the studied marriage had lasted over ten years, and only among women, prompting the question of whether the connection between health and marriage was ever as straightforward as formerly believed. People’s attitude towards marriage has shifted over time; more are marrying later or choosing not to wed at all.

Author of the study, Dmitry Tumin, speculated that greater home and work demands, combined with less time together, could mean that marriage has become a greater source of stress. The study, published in the ‘Social Science Quarterly’, projected that these findings could have been affected by a decline in marriage rates among people of lower socioeconomic status, as there would be little change to the health of those with more affluence.