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Biodemography Soc Biol. 2008 Spring;54(1):1-7. doi: 10.1080/19485565.2008.9989128.

Age heterogamy and longevity: evidence from Jewish and Christian cemeteries.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA.


In most marriages, husbands are older than wives at the time of marriage. The extent of this age difference is referred to as age heterogamy. Studies of age heterogamous marriages have found men and women married to younger spouses live longer than those married to spouses that are the same age at time of marriage. In this study we examined the role of a religious affiliation as a factor in this age heterogamy effect, by comparing Jewish and Christian husbands and wives. While we confirmed the age heterogamy effect on longevity, we did not find any evidence that it was affected by religion.

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