London, Mar 21: Better remain single than be unhappily married as a stressful union can be worse for your health, scientists said. Marriage can be good for your blood pressure, but only if it is a happy one, a study revealed. The study monitored the blood pressure of 204 married and 99 single adults at random intervals throughout the day and night. It revealed that the worst test scores were found among married couples who fared poorly on ''marital satisfaction'' tests, the Daily Mail reported.
It also found that the happily-married couples scored consistently lower on blood pressure tests than those living alone, even if they had a rich circle of friends. Single adults and unhappily married couples also tended to have higher blood pressure during the night, which indicates an increased risk of cardiovascular problems, the study added. Prof Julianne Holt-Lunstad, who led the study for Utah's Brigham Young University, said, ''It's not just being married that benefits health. What's really the most protective of health is having a happy marriage. It's the quality of the marriage, not the marriage per se.'' Spouses often promote healthy habits to their partners, such as encouraging each other to see a doctor or to eat healthily. They also give each other emotional support in stressful times, which may not be so readily available in a bad marriage or for single people, she added.