From a life expectancy standpoint of such a relationship, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (DPIDR), in Rostock, Germany, studied two million Danish couples.
They found that women have the longest life expectancy when they marry a man of their exact same age (plus or minus one or two years). An older husband shortens her life expectancy, and a younger husband shortens her life expectancy even more.
The German study, lead by Swedish sociologist Sven Drefahl, who is also associated with the Department of Sociology at Stockholm University, stated that there is an approximate 20% decrease in life expectancy when a woman marries a man 7 to 9 years younger than her, and almost the same percentage decrease in life expectancy when she marries a man 7 to 17 years older than her.
Is this bad news for women marrying older or younger men also poignant for men?
The May 13, 2010 Forbes article 'The Cougar Backlash,' states, 'As if that isn't bad enough, the study also concludes that this early death syndrome affects only women who marry outside their immediate age range. Not so for men who have years added to their lives when they marry younger women.'
Page two concludes.
For additional information on the subject, please read the May 13, 2010 Bloomberg/Business Week article 'Women Who Marry Younger Men May Die Earlier.'
Dr. Dretahl is quoted in the article. He states, "One of the few possible explanations is that couples with younger husbands violate social norms and thus suffer from social sanctions."