Divorce makes you more likely to die early, US study suggests

Divorce is one factor that can increase someone’s risk of dying early, even more than a lack of exercise, according to a study of thousands of people in the US.

Eli Puterman and his colleagues at the University of British Columbia in Canada, turned to data from 13,611 US adults, aged between 52 and 104, who had filled out detailed questionnaires about their lives and then had their health tracked for six years.

Individuals who had been through a divorce were 45 per cent more likely to die within the six-year period, for example. “It was surprising to see [divorce] so high up there,” says Puterman. “But at the end of the day, our negative relationships really do have a very high impact on our daily well-being and our health, and divorce has probably emerged from years of negative experiences with a spouse.”