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Being single has never been easy, but is it inherently more dangerous?
New research has found single, divorced or uneducated Americans are at a greater overall risk of accidental death.
In fact, the unattached were found to be more than twice as likely to succumb to an accidental death compared to married people.
Accidental death, for the purposes of the study, was classified in accordance with the World Health Organization. This included fatalities such as drownings, smoke inhalation or food poisoning.
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University compared the relationship and socioeconomic status of 1.3 million U.S. residents, all who had either died from or survived a preventable accident between 1986 to 2006.
“The unattached were twice as likely to
succumb to an accidental death.”
In a press release from Rice University, the study’s lead author Justin Denney, an assistant professor of sociology at the college, explained their interpretation of the findings.
“Marital status is influential in that it can provide positive support, may discourage a partner’s risk and offer immediate support that saves lives in the event of an emergency,” he said.
Denney is also an associate director at the Kinder Institute for Urban Research in Houston, Texas.
The socioeconomics of the group can reflect how those with combined incomes might lead safer lives overall, such as having better health care or driving safer cars.
“Well-educated individuals, on average, have greater socioeconomic resources, which can be used to their advantage to prevent accidental death,” Denney said. “In addition, these individuals tend to be more knowledgeable about practices that may harm their health, such as excessive alcohol and drug use.”
The researchers are hoping the results will prompt deeper research into better predictors for accidental death and ways to prevent them.