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Divorce Heightens Accidental Death Risk

Update Date: Oct 31, 2013 05:38 PM EDT

Now there's another reason to work out the kinks in your marriage. A new study reveals that divorced people are significantly more likely to die from preventable accidents than their married counterparts.

Researchers from Rice University and the University of Pennsylvania looked at the links between social relationship relationships, socio-economic status and how long and well people live.

They found that divorced people are more than twice as likely than married people to die from the most and least preventable causes of accidental death. Most-preventable causes of accident death are fire, poisoning and smoke inhalation and least-preventable causes of accidental death are air and water transportation mishaps.

The study also found that single people are twice as likely as married people to die from the most preventable causes of accidental death and equally likely to die from the least preventable causes of accidental death.

Highly educated adults are significantly less likely to die from the most preventable accidents compared to people with low educational attainment.

The study involved 1,302,090 adults aged 18 and older who survived or died from accidents between 1986 and 2006.

"Well-educated individuals, on average, have greater socio-economic resources, which can be used to their advantage to prevent accidental death (i.e., safeguarding a home from fire)," lead researcher Justin Denney, assistant professor of sociology at Rice, associate director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research's Urban Health Program, said in a news release.

"In addition, these individuals tend to be more knowledgeable about practices that may harm their health, such as excessive alcohol and drug use. And 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," Denney.

The findings are published in the Social Science Research.

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