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Who is healthiest: Single, married or divorced people?

There are seemingly endless numbers of articles advising people who are going through a divorce or who have just completed the process how to stay healthy. The stress and anxiety often associated with divorce certainly aren't healthy. Further, it certainly may be natural to neglect your health, indulge in emotional eating and slack off on the exercise in the midst of this life-changing event.

However, studies have found that divorced people, particularly those who end their marriages as they get further into their 40s, are just as healthy, if not more so, than their married counterparts. According to a Michigan State University associate professor who has studied the link between divorce and health, however, those who divorced between the ages of 34 and 41 fared worse than those who divorced between 44 and 50.

A recent study published by researchers in London followed participants from their 20s into their mid-40s, at which time they received a physical examination for the study. Researchers found that those who had divorced were no more likely to have respiratory or cardiac issues than those who remained married or in a long-term relationship. Those in their mid-40s who did not have a spouse or partner, however, were more likely to suffer from those conditions.

The concept of divorced people "bouncing back" after an initial decline in health following divorce, particularly among men was noted by both the Michigan and London researchers. The latter noted that "in the long term, they tend to revert back to their pre-divorce health status."

Obviously, concern about the impact of a divorce on your health or that of your spouse should never be a reason to stay in an unhappy marriage. Staying in a bad marriage can be damaging to both physical and emotional health.

Having an experienced family law attorney focused on working for what is in your best interest in the divorce can help minimize stress and anxiety. However, people who are used to having someone to look out for them may initially have a difficult time doing what is healthy when they're on their own. Divorcing and divorced Colorado residents can find plenty of resources, support groups and activities to help learn to do that.

Source: Yahoo! Health, "Divorce May Not Be So Unhealthy After All," Amy Capetta, June 12, 2015

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