Single men who face more dating competition live shorter lives

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Single men

We all know that married men live longer (and suffer more!), but what causes single guys to live such short lives? Too much steak and not enough exercise? Crying themselves to sleep every night? Harvard Medical School's researchers believe they have your answer.

Men who face plenty of competition to find a mate have slightly shorter lives than those who don't.

New research shows that gender imbalance, when men outnumber women, affects male longevity by an average of about three months.

Although the link between gender ratio and longevity has been shown in animals, the study published in the journal Demography is thought to be the first to show the impact in humans.

"If you're having a hard time finding a mate, it winds up affecting your body and how long you live," said Professor Nicholas Christakis, of Harvard Medical School.

Three months may not seem like much, he added, but it is comparable to the effects of taking a daily aspirin, or engaging in moderate exercise.

"A 65-year-old man is typically expected to live another 15.4 years. Removing three months from this block of time is significant," he explained. [Yahoo! News]

What does a 65-year-old man care about three months when he still gets to live to 78? But I guess it's understandable that most people don't want to die a day shorter than they have to, although this is still no reason to "settle" on a loveless marriage.