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Andy Garcia Puts Family First

Marriage and family may be his top priority, but the actor and director still manages to find time to grow as an artist and practice the hot Hollywood fitness trend Pilates.

Good for Men: Love and Marriage

Marriage is good for the body and soul, particularly for men, recent research suggests. That means Andy Garcia's marital bliss could translate into a longer life and less stress.

Researcher Linda Waite, a professor of sociology at the University of Chicago, has dedicated her career to researching the positive effects of marriage, co-writing a number of books and articles on the topic. Her findings show men in happy marriages live longer, with an average lifespan of 10 years beyond that of single men. Waite hypothesizes that wedded men tend to take fewer risks and lead healthier lives than bachelors.

Her research also shows that even married men in poor health or with unhealthy habits have advantages. For instance, elderly married men with heart disease live almost four years longer than unmarried men with no heart problems. And married, pack-a-day smokers live just as long as single or divorced nonsmokers.

Other experts agree. "Marriage is a stabilizing factor in life," says Jay Lebow, PhD, clinical professor of psychology at the Family Institute at Northwestern University. "Men are less subject to alcoholism and substance abuse, and they tend to become less depressed if they're married."

Their physical health improves exponentially, too. Though actual study results are lacking, Lebow says clinical experience and conjecture among experts in the field point to a number of factors, some of them surprising, that back up the idea of healthier men in marriages. For instance, married men may be less likely to die in car accidents because they are less prone to driving dangerously. They also may be more likely, at their wives' urging, to frequent the doctor, meaning potentially terminal illnesses such as cancer are diagnosed earlier. -- Jennifer Dixon

Reviewed on June 08, 2007

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