Study: Spousal Support Can Keep You Healthy03:44
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A new study finds that married cancer patients tend to have better outcomes than single cancer patients. (Eric Spiegel/Flickr)
A new study finds that married cancer patients tend to have better outcomes than single cancer patients. (Eric Spiegel/Flickr)

President Obama was recently caught at the United Nations with his mic on saying that he quit smoking "because I'm scared of my wife." As it turns out, wives and husbands may actually help keep their spouses healthy.

A new study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology finds that married cancer patients tend to do better than single cancer patients.

The study used a database of over 1 million patients, and looked at the 10 cancers that cause the most deaths. Researchers found that married people tend to do better than single people on three fronts:

  • They're 17 percent more likely to be diagnosed before the cancer has spread.
  • They're 53 percent more likely to get and stick with the right treatments.
  • They're 10 percent more likely to live longer after the diagnosis.

One other finding is that the health benefit of being married is greater for men than it is for women.

Dr. Ayal Aizer, the chief resident at the Harvard Radiation Oncology Program and lead author of the study, told WBUR's Carrie Goldberg that this is most likely because single women are more adept at building support networks than single men are.

Goldberg joins Here & Now to talk about the study.

Guest

This segment aired on September 24, 2013.

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