Remarriage after divorce and depression risk
As marriage is associated with lower depression rates compared with being single in men, we aimed to examine if remarriage compared with remaining divorced is also associated with a reduced depression risk. Swedish register data were used to define a cohort of men who were born between 1952 and 1956, and underwent a compulsory military conscription assessment in adolescence. This study population comprised men who were divorced in 1985 (n=72,246). The risk of pharmaceutically treated depression from 2005 to 2009 was compared for those who remarried or remained divorced between 1986 and 2004. Cox proportional hazards analysis was used to estimate hazard ratios for the risk of depression identified by pharmaceutical treatment, with adjustment for a range of potential confounding factors including childhood and adulthood socioeconomic circumstances, cognitive, physical, psychological and medical characteristics at the conscription assessment. The results showed that, even though divorced men who remarried had markers of lower depression risk in earlier life such as higher cognitive and physical function, higher stress resilience and socioeconomic advantages than men who remained divorced, remarriage was associated with a statistically significant elevated risk of depression with an adjusted hazard ratio (and 95% confidence interval) of 1.27(1.03 1.55), compared with men who remained divorced. Remarriage following divorce is not associated with a reduced risk of depression identified by pharmaceutical treatment, compared with remaining divorced. Interpersonal or financial difficulties resulting from remarriage may outweigh the benefits of marriage in terms of depression risk.
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