Contrary to previous data, a new study finds that some health measures in postmenopausal women, such as body mass index (BMI), tend to worsen if the women marry and to improve if they divorce or separate from their partner. The study, which analyzed data from more than 79,000 postmenopausal women participating in the Women's Health Initiative, is published in Journal of Women's Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Journal of Women's Health website until March 6, 2017.
The article entitled "Relationship between Marital Transitions, Health Behaviors, and Health Indicators of Postmenopausal Women: Results from the Women's Health Initiative" describes the relationship found between marital transitions and both health indicators (blood pressure, waist circumference, and BMI) and behaviors (diet, alcohol use, physical activity, and smoking). The study was conducted by Randa Kutob and a team of researchers from the College of Medicine, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, and Cancer Center of University of Arizona (Tucson); Brown University School of Public Health (Providence, RI); University of California, Davis; University of Texas Health Science Center (San Antonio); University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and University of Iowa College of Public Health (Iowa City).
"These new results are in stark contrast to earlier findings in which marriage has been associated with improved overall health and divorce with higher mortality," says Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women's Health, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health, Richmond, VA, and President of the Academy of Women's Health.
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, under Award Numbers HHSN268201100046C, HHSN268201100001C, HHSN268201100002C, HHSN268201100003C, HSN268201100004C, HHSN271201100004C, and CCSG-CA023074. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
Article: Relationship Between Marital Transitions, Health Behaviors, and Health Indicators of Postmenopausal Women: Results from the Women's Health Initiative, Kutob Randa M., Yuan Nicole P., Wertheim Betsy C., Sbarra David A., Loucks Eric B., Nassir Rami, Bareh Gihan, Kim Mimi M., Snetselaar Linda G., and Thomson Cynthia A, Journal of Women's Health, doi:10.1089/jwh.2016.5925, published online 10 January 2017.