Divorced people more likely to die from accidents
A new study from sociologists at Rice University and the University of Pennsylvania suggests that divorced people are more likely to die from preventable accidents than their married counterparts. The study also found that single people and those with less education were also at a greater risk of accidental death.
The researchers analyzed 1,302,090 adults 18 and older who survived or died from accidents between 1986 and 2006. The data was from multiple years of the National Health Interview Survey, which includes demographic information about participants from throughout the 50 states, including age, race and income.
Overall, the study’s authors found that divorced people are more than twice as likely than married people to die from what the World Health Organization (WHO) cites as the most-preventable causes of accidental death (fire, poisoning and smoke inhalation), but equally likely to die from the least-preventable causes of accidental death (air and water transportation mishaps).
Justin Denney, assistant professor of sociology at Rice, associate director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research’s Urban Health Program and the study’s lead author, said it stands to reason that if social relationships and socio-economic resources prolong life, then they should be more important in situations where death can reasonably be avoided and less valuable in situations that closely resemble random events. He hopes the research will lead to further study of how to prevent accidental deaths.