Apart from the death of a loved one, it is probably the most stressful experience life can throw at you.
But research suggests that divorce can be good for men – at least in terms of making them fitter. Women, on the other hand, are likely to become less healthy.
The findings, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, are based on checks on 9,000 men and women, with an average age of 45, over an eight-year period.
They suggest men who go through a divorce pay more attention to their bodies in a bid to try and win a new mate.
Men who remain married, on the other hand, are more likely to let themselves go a bit as they no longer need to compete for a partner.
Although the divorce rate in England and Wales is falling and currently stands at its lowest rate for 29 years, the UK still has the highest divorce rate in Europe, at 11.5 divorcing people per 1,000 married people.
Divorce rates are highest among couples in their late twenties.
Previous studies have suggested the trauma of a marriage break-up may harm health irreparably.
Last year, a US study found divorcees have 20 per cent more chronic illnesses, such as cancer, than those who never marry. Even among those that remarry, the figure only drops to 12 per cent, suggesting much of the damage to health cannot be undone.
But the latest study, by experts at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, suggests divorced men often offset this increase in risk by taking steps to bolster their fitness.
Scientists recorded whether the volunteers remained single, married, got divorced or remarried.
Each one underwent regular treadmill tests to measure their fitness.
The results showed men who divorced saw a rise in fitness levels, while those in men who married during the study period declined.
In a report on their findings, the researchers said: 'There was a significant increase in fitness levels in men who divorced but a tendency towards a decrease in the fitness of women who divorced.
2010-12-13 10:43 编辑：kuaileyingyu
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