Divorced People More Likely to Die in (Lonely, We Assume) Preventable Accidents, Rice Study Says

If your image of a divorced person is closer to someone choking back lonely tears as he or she peruses the "healthy" single-serving aisle -- as opposed to ballin' on a singles cruise or in Midtown, say -- there's more bad news for you, via Rice University.

Divorced people are more likely to die from "preventable accidents" than married folks, says the study, which apparently began when someone asked themselves, "Gee, I wonder how divorced people are dying these days."

"The Social Side of Accidental Death," by Rice and Penn sociologists, found "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) and equally likely to die from the least-preventable causes of accidental death (air and water transportation mishaps)," Rice announced.

Single people are twice as likely to die from "the most preventable causes of accidental death," so life is just a (deadly dangerous -- and, again, lonely -- ) bowl of cherries for them. Lower-educated people are also at higher risk.

Justin Denney, associate director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research's Urban Health Program and the study's lead author, not unnaturally says his findings make sense:

Well-educated individuals, on average, have greater socio-economic resources, which can be used to their advantage to prevent accidental death (i.e., safeguarding a home from fire). In addition, these individuals tend to be more knowledgeable about practices that may harm their health, such as excessive alcohol and drug use. And marital status is influential in that it can provide positive support, may discourage a partner's risk and offer immediate support that saves lives in the event of an emergency.

The researchers compared 1,302,090 adults aged 18 and older who survived or died from accidents between 1986 and 2006. It is unknown how many of the deceased went to their reward while indulging in Ben & Jerry's and You've Got Mail.

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