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People choose a partner with a similar life expectancy

People choose a partner with a similar life expectancy


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Why do couples often have similar diseases and a comparable life expectancy?

What does our partner's choice for life depend on? Maybe physical attraction and humor play an important role? A Scottish research team has now found that people often choose a partner who has a similar life expectancy.

In their current study, the University of Edinburgh scientists found that people in their partnership often choose a partner who has a similar life expectancy. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Heredity".

Why do long-term couples often have similar problems?

It seems that people unconsciously choose partners who have risks and difficulties similar to those of high blood pressure or heart disease, the experts say. The results of the study could help explain why long-term couples often experience the same symptoms in later years and often have a similar lifespan. The team also examined the information from the parents of couples and found that even parents-in-law shared genetic risk factors for disease and had a similar lifespan.

The researchers suspect that people unconsciously choose a partner who has the same risk of disease as they do. Given the fact that many complaints are not openly visible when people choose their partners, it is likely that they are choosing a partner with common lifestyle factors that are genetically linked to diseases, the scientists say. Common risk behaviors such as smoking or healthy behavior such as maintaining a healthy weight most often lead to diseases developing later in life, and ultimately leading to a similar life expectancy, the researchers add.

More research is needed

The study suggests that people tend to choose partners based on behavioral or physical traits that are genetically related to disease and longevity, the study's authors say. To understand what these are, new and long-term studies are needed that will medically monitor hundreds of thousands of couples from the moment they get to know each other until the later they suffer from an illness. It has been known for some time that life expectancy of couples is similar and the main hypothesis why this was the case was that people have shared the same environmental risk factors in the home for many years.

Partners adapt their lifestyle to each other

The experts explain that lifestyle choices, such as whether people exercise or eat healthy, make them susceptible to the same diseases and ultimately lead to a similar life expectancy. This hypothesis assumes that the partners were not very similar when they came together, perhaps one person was athletic and the other was not. Over time, the athlete may stop exercising as much while the other does more exercise. This is how lifestyle approaches. A similar diet over 40 years may also lead to the same risks for diseases and a comparable life expectancy. So it seems like people have looked for partners with similar likes and dislikes. The likelihood that our partner's parents will have about the same taste as we do is very high. For example, if you and your partner both like football, it is likely that your mother or father will also like football, the scientists explain. (as)

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