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Marriage Cuts the Risk of Early Death in Men Diagnosed with HIV/AIDS

Jul 13, 2013 08:59 AM EDT

(Photo : REUTERS/Dadang Tri )

Married men with HIV/AIDS in the 1980s, were less likely to die early than unmarried men with AIDS, a new study found. Marital status, however, didn't have any effect on the survival odds of HIV/AIDS positive women.

The study conducted by researchers at University of California, Riverside found that in the 80s women of color were significantly more likely to die early due to HIV/AIDS than white women. The risk of early death was nine times higher for African American Women and seven times higher for Latinas.

Data for the study came from the U.S. National Longitudinal Mortality Study and the National Death Index. Researchers looked at the records of 763,000 individuals age 15 and older between 1983 and 1994. About 410 people in the study died due to HIV/AIDS during the study period.

Researchers found that divorced men were six times more likely to die due to HIV/AIDS than married men. The risk of early death was higher for men with the disease who were never married; about 13.5 times higher.

Also, the risk of dying early due to AIDS was 2.7 times higher than white men with the diseases.

 "These data capture when HIV/AIDS was approaching pandemic level. People were very afraid. The perception was that only men who had sex with men were getting infected, so no one was looking at risk factors for people who were married, widowed or separated," said professor Augustine Kposowa, sociologist from University of California, Riverside, according to a news release. 

The study," Marital status and HIV/AIDS mortality: evidence from the U.S. National Longitudinal Mortality Study" is published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, the official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases.

A recent study showed that marriage affects people differently based on various factors. For example, it has positive effects on the health of men who were less educated but has negative effects on women who had higher education. Another related study had found that marriage can improve a woman's health, but doesn't improve men's health.

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