This research brief describes work documented in Lee A. Lillard and Constantijn W.A. Panis, "Marital Status and Mortality: The Role of Health," Demography, 33(3):313-327, 1996.
Excerpt: Numerous studies covering 140 years have shown that married persons tend to live longer than their unmarried counterparts. Attempts to explain this advantage have typically focused on the following questions: Does marriage have a direct protective effect, reducing the risk of mortality by providing benefits such as improved health? Or does increased longevity reflect the possibility that healthy people are more likely to get married — and therefore that married people are simply healthier from the start of their married lives?