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Men live longer if they marry a younger woman, according to population statistics.
What’s more, men who tie the knot with older women are more likely to die early, the study at Germany’s Max Planck Institute found.
According to the research, blokes cut the risk of premature death by 11 per cent if their wives are seven to nine years younger, reports The Daily Express.
The figure rises to 20 per cent for men who marry women between 15 and 17 years younger.
Scientists reckon that the figures may be the result of natural selection – that only the healthiest, most successful older men are able to attract younger mates.
“Another theory is that a younger woman will care for a man better and therefore he will live longer,” said institute spokesman Sven Drefahl.
However, when it comes to women, the results showed that ladies benefit from marrying a man of the same age.
Wives with husbands older or younger by between seven and nine years increase their chances of dying early by 20 per cent.
This rises to 30 per cent if the age difference is close to 15 and 17 years.