Woody Allen may have called marriage the "death of hope," but staying single can literally be fatal. A new study shows that people who don't tie the knot are likely to die earlier, and have a higher risk of dying across a lifetime, than those who are married. Men are particularly vulnerable, with a 32% higher risk, compared to 23% for single women, the International Business Times reports. Lack of a support network, health care, government assistance, and reduced wages were cited as possible reasons for early demise.
In hard numbers, single men may die eight to 17 years earlier than married ones, compared to seven to 15 years earlier for single women. But the risk of earlier death drops dramatically as people get older, and widowed or divorced people were not counted. Still, the research shows "just how poorly the singles do," says one professor at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, where the report was synthesized from 90 previous studies.