Did someone say “same-sex marriage study?”
We’ve got a new one.
Danish researchers report today that men in same-sex marriages are living longer. But it also says mortality rates among married lesbians have begun to rise after a long period of decline.
The Los Angeles Times has it:
“Our study expands on century-old knowledge that married people generally have lower mortality than unmarried and divorced persons,” wrote the lead author, Dr. Morten Frisch, a professor of epidemiology at Aalborg University. “From a public health viewpoint it is important to try and identify those underlying factors and mechanisms.”
Researchers found that marriage in and of itself did not ensure low mortality during the period studied. For instance, opposite-sex married couples who lived apart faced a two-fold increase in their mortality rate.
Also, heterosexual men and women saw a steep jump in their mortality rate during the study period if they were married two or more times. The rate increased 27% for women with each successive marriage, and it increased 16% for men.
Same-sex unions have been legal in Denmark since 1989. Since that time, however, mortality rates have changed greatly among homosexual men and women.
There’s a fair amount of guesswork in the study. The authors say the decline in longevity for married lesbians, for example, may be due to some unseen greater risk of breast cancer.
They also note that homosexual couples were less than 1 percent of the study sample.