Marriage may help cancer patients live longer: study

( Xinhua ) Updated: 2016-04-12 10:50:39

Cancer patients who are married are more likely to survive than those who are unmarried, according to a U.S. study published Monday that offered another reason for finding a spouse and being married.

Researchers from the Cancer Prevention Institute of California and the University of California, San Diego, looked at nearly 800,000 adults in California who were diagnosed in 2000 to 2009 with invasive cancer and were followed through 2012.

Their results, published in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, showed that unmarried cancer patients had higher death rates than married patients.

For males, the rate of death was 27 percent higher among those who were unmarried compared with those who were married. For females, the rate was 19 percent higher among unmarried patients.

These patterns were minimally explained by greater economic resources among married patients, such as having private health insurance and living in higher socioeconomic status neighborhoods.

"While other studies have found similar protective effects associated with being married, ours is the first in a large population-based setting to assess the extent to which economic resources explain these protective effects," said study author Scarlett Lin Gomez of the Cancer Prevention Institute of California.

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