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Divorced men who remarry more likely to be depressed than those who remain single

Divorced men who remarry are almost one third more likely to be prescribed antidepressants than those who remain single, a new study suggests.

Men who remarry are more likely to be prescribed antidepressants than those who do not, a new study suggests

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Researchers from Örebro University in Sweden, University College London and the University of East London studied more than 200,000 Swedish men born between 1952 and 1956.

The men were tracked up to the ages of 54 to 58, and their medical records and marital status compared. By 1985, when the men were all aged around 30, 72,246 had been divorced.

Comparing depression rates in those who stayed divorced and those who remarried, the researchers found that men who remarried were 27% more likely to have been prescribed antidepressants than those who had not. This is despite divorced men who remarried having lower markers of depression risk in earlier life compared with men who remained divorced, for example higher cognitive and physical function, higher stress resilience and socioeconomic advantages. Men who were married and had never divorced had the lowest risk of depression.

‘Remarriage may be different from a first marriage, as such unions tend to be less stable and may be influenced by factors that were absent in first marriages, such as stepchildren and former partners,’ the authors said. ‘This may create conflict for reasons such as parenting issues and financial arrangements, therefore increasing depression risk.’

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