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Marital status and kidney transplant

People who get married appear to enjoy better health overall and may even be more likely to receive a kidney transplant when they need one.

Marital status and kidney transplant

People who get married appear to enjoy better health overall and may even be more likely to receive a kidney transplant when they need one.

This is not the first study to show that marriage seems to go along with better health. Studies have found that married people as a group tend to be healthier than singles - though recent research suggests the health advantage of marriage may be fading. Still, people with spouses tend to live longer, be less depressed, and suffer less from cardiovascular disease.

To investigate whether marriage is linked at all to the odds of receiving a new kidney in the first place, researchers looked at information collected in the U.S. national kidney failure database, focusing on the 3,650 people whose records included information about their marital status. Approximately 56 percent of those with kidney failure were married, while 14 percent were divorced or separated, and 30 percent were either widowed or had never married. The researchers were unable to include information on single-sex relationships, whether single people had unmarried partners or the quality of marriages.

It was found that people with kidney failure who were married or divorced (or separated) were more than 50 percent as likely to be placed on a wait-list for a new kidney as never-married people. Those who were married were also 28 percent more likely to receive the organ, relative to single people on the wait-list.

It's not clear why married and divorced / separated people fare better than unmarried people when it comes to kidney transplants. Previous research has shown married people often have better access to healthcare, and better health overall, which may render them more qualified candidates for renal transplantation.
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