Meget passende på denne Valentinsdag, taler vi om niveauet af stresshormoner blandt mennesker der er gift. Mange studier, har indikeret, at mennesker i ægteskab er sundere end de, som lever ene, er fraskilte, i enkestand eller endog lever sammen. Nu har et nyt studie fra Carnagie Mellon University vist den første biologiske indikation, der forklarer, hvordan ægteskab påvirker.

Ifølge et stude i Psychoneuroendocrinology, fandt forskerne, at gifte personer har lavere niveauer af stresshormonet cortisol, end de, som aldrig giftede sig eller som var gift før. Disse resultater understøtter den opfattelse, at ugifte mennesker står overfor mere psykologisk stress end gifte mennesker. Vedvarende stress er forbundet med øgede niveauer af cortisol, som kan påvirke kroppens evne til at regulere betændelse, som igen fremmer udviklingen af mange sygdomme.


When to comes to cardiovascular risk, marriages have been proven to offer considerable benefits according to a large population-based studies.

"It's is exciting to discover a physiological pathway that may explain how relationships influence health and disease," said Brian Chin, a Ph.D. student in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences' Department of Psychology.

Over three non-consecutive days, the researchers collected saliva samples from 572 healthy adults aged 21-55. Multiple samples were taken during each 24-hour period and tested for cortisol.

Exactly how marriage works its magic remains mysterious. Perhaps a strong personal relationship improves mental health and helps the individual to ward off physical illness. More research here is certainly needed.

The results showed that the married participants had lower cortisol levels than the never married or previously married people across the three day period. The researchers also compared each person's daily cortisol rhythm -- typically, cortisol levels peak when a person wakes up and decline during the day. Those who were married showed a faster decline, a pattern that has been associated with less heart disease, and longer survival among cancer patients.

"These data provide important insight into the way in which our intimate social relationships can get under the skin to influence our health," said laboratory director and co-author Sheldon Cohen, the Robert E. Doherty University Professor of Psychology.

CMU's Michael L.M. Murphy and the University of Pittsburgh's Denise Janicki-Deverts were also part of the research team.