Statistics show that 12 percent of black couples divorce each year, compared with 10 percent of whites and 7 percent of Latinos. But before you and your mate part company, you might want to consider new research that shows divorce has a lasting impact on your mental and physical health.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health examined the marital background and health indicators of 8,652 middle-aged people. They found that divorced and widowed people have 20 percent more chronic health issues—such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer—than their married peers.

Authors of the study say even people who remarry can’t escape the damage to their health caused by divorce.

If that’s not enough, researchers also cite previous studies that suggest matrimony has health-boosting benefits for the bride and groom. For example, married women have more financial stability, which means better access to health care and less money-related stress. A man’s better half also tends to encourage him to take care of himself, reminding him to get regular physicals, colonoscopies and flu shots.

Ponder that the next time you and your spouse get into a spat!   

Love’s Healing  Power
In a recent Ohio State University study, researchers found that married couples who were positive and supportive to one another healed from minor physical wounds two days quicker than couples who were hostile, suggesting a link between marital accord and immune response. A healthy relationship really can be just that.—James Wortman