Study finds stress hormone levels lower among the married
Marriage comes with a number of practical perks like tax breaks and family insurance plans.
According to researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, it can also provide a significant boost in battling stress and maintaining good health.
Through an examination of 572 participants between the ages of 21 and 55, the team learned that married people tend to have lower levels of cortisol.
According to a news release about the study, "These findings support the belief that unmarried people face more psychological stress than married individuals. Prolonged stress is associated with increased levels of cortisol which can interfere with the body's ability to regulate inflammation, which in turn promotes the development and progression of many diseases."
The team, "...also compared each person's daily cortisol rhythm — typically, cortisol levels peak when a person wakes up and decline during the day. Those who were married showed a faster decline, a pattern that has been associated with less heart disease, and longer survival among cancer patients."
Sheldon Cohen, one of the researchers, noted, "These data provide important insight into the way in which our intimate social relationships can get under the skin to influence our health."