Divorces are hard, and considering the mental health benefits of marriage over being single, getting married again would seem to make sense. Depression, however, is actually more likely in men who get remarried than in those who remain divorced, according to Ayako Hiyoshi, Ph.D., and associates.

In the study, the incidence of “pharmaceutically treated” depression from 2005 to 2009 was measured in a large group of Swedish males whose marriage status was recorded in 1985. Age in 1985 ranged from 29 to 33 years. For divorced men who got remarried, the adjusted odds ratio for depression was 1.27, compared with the baseline of men who remained divorced, reported Dr. Hiyoshi of Örebro (Sweden) University and associates.

The risk of depression was lowest in men who remained married during the entire study period (OR, 0.87). Men who divorced after 1985 and were still divorced had an almost identical depression risk (OR, 0.99) as those persistently divorced since 1985.

The investigators noted that not only do the results conflict with the general consensus that marriage improves quality of life, but traditional risk factors for depression, such as lower cognitive and physical function, lower stress resilience, and lower socioeconomic status, were less prevalent in the remarried group, compared with the persistently divorced group.

“This suggests that interpersonal or financial difficulties resulting from remarriage can outweigh the benefits of marriage,” they concluded.

Find the full study in Social Science and Medicine (2015;141:109-14 doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.07.029).



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