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No certainty, but research indicates health risks after divorce

A speculative review by the University of Arizona indicates that divorce can lead to an increased risk of early death. The information was discovered using "meta-analysis," a process that allows researchers to study other studies and draw broad conclusions from their research.

According to the university, which tracked 6.5 million people for 11 years across 32 different studies, those who have been through a divorce are 23% more likely to suffer early death than those who are married. "Early death" was defined as someone who passed away while researchers tracked them. A psychology professor at the university was the leader of the study and seemed surprised by the results.

"We thought there was some risk," he said, "but we didn't think the risk elevation would be as substantial as other very serious public-health risks." The professor compared divorce to drinking heavily, being overweight or smoking 15 cigarettes a day, but he also urged caution about drawing too much from the study.

For example, the professor noted that about 75% of divorced adults remarry, and that most of them enjoy their lives after the split. He also warned about cause and effect when relating divorce and poor health. Poor health could lead to divorce, for instance, and the professor indicated that more conclusive research needs to be done to determine the extent of biological reactions to divorce.

Ultimately, it is a given that divorce is a very emotional draining process. Separating from your partner is never easy, but when you come to the conclusion to file for divorce, you can spare yourself excess stress and worry by consulting a legal professional. An experienced lawyer will support you during divorce proceedings and provide you with insider knowledge to potentially protect your assets.

Source: USA Today, "UA study: Divorce can raise risk of early death," Anne Ryman, Jan. 10, 2011

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