Younger Husband Shortens Wife's Life Danish study defies expectations By Nick McMaster, Newser Staff Posted May 12, 2010 3:53 PM CDT Updated May 16, 2010 7:08 AM CDT 21 comments Comments Having a younger husband has been linked to a reduced life expectancy for women, a new study suggests. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – Having a young husband can reduce a woman's life expectancy, a new study says. Marriage stats have long shown that men with younger wives tend to live longer. Researchers had assumed the same held true for women—but a study of 2 million Danish couples showed otherwise, Science Daily reports. Women who had a husband 7 to 9 years younger had a 20% increased mortality risk relative to a woman with a same-age husband. The researchers theorize that men are enriched by the social network of a younger spouse—but that men might not offer an older wife the same benefits. "On average, men have fewer and lesser quality social contacts than those of women," says the lead scientist.