In contrast, the study also found that women married to
women were at increased risk of mortality, most notably from suicide and
cancer. In response to this, Morten Frisch, lead author of the study, says,
"Lesbians may constitute a largely unnoticed high-risk population for
suicide and breast cancer, so our findings call for efforts to identify the
underlying factors responsible and ensure access to basic health care in this
- Marriage has long been known to be associated with reduced
mortality, but noticeable changes have occurred in the marital status
distribution of Western populations over the past decades.
- This study assessed changes in marital status and
cohabitation status in Denmark over a 30-year period and their associations
with mortality, using continuously updated individual-level information on
living arrangements, confounders, and deaths.
- Compared with people married to a member of the opposite
sex, hazard ratios for overall mortality were consistently elevated in
unmarried, divorced, widowed, or same-sex married people. Likewise, compared
with people cohabiting with a member of the opposite sex cohabiting, hazard
ratios for overall mortality were consistently elevated among people who lived
alone, with parents, in multi-adult households, or in same-sex cohabitation.
- The most marked changes in mortality were seen among
same-sex married persons. Between 2000 and 2011, same-sex married Danish women
emerged as a group with particularly increased mortality; in contrast, same-sex
married Danish men now have mortality rates that are lower than those of
unmarried or divorced men.