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Marriage Pays Health Dividends -- for Him

Commitment to lifelong relationship appears to be key, study says

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Overall, about 71 percent said they'd been to the doctor at least once during the past year. For married men, the number was 76 percent, the study found. It fell to 65 percent for single men and 60 percent for men who lived with a partner.

When insurance was taken into account, about 82 percent of insured married men had seen a doctor within the past 12 months versus three-quarters of single men and 71 percent of cohabiting men, the researchers found.

Only about 50 percent of cohabiting men had undergone recommended cholesterol and diabetes screenings in the past 12 months, the study found.

"Men should be seeing a doctor in order to learn if they're still healthy and, if not, catch problems early on," Blumberg said.

The study findings don't prove there's a connection between marriage -- or bachelorhood -- and visits to the doctor. The research also doesn't show whether the men who went to the doctor more often are actually healthier.

"Ultimately, the data we have available don't tell us that life will be better down the line," Blumberg said.

Waite suggested that unmarried men try to "figure out a way to replace the kinds of support that they might get from a spouse if they were married."

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