How does divorce affect a man's health?

New Rochelle, NY, September 30, 2013—Divorced men have higher rates of mortality, substance abuse, depression, and lack of social support, according to a new article in Journal of Men's Health.

Authors Daniel S. Felix, PhD, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, W. David Robinson, PhD, Utah State University, Logan, and Kimberly J. Jarzynka, MD, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha demonstrate an urgent need to recognize and treat men's divorce-related health problems in a provocative case study and review of the literature entitled "The Influence of Divorce on Men's Health."

Divorce has been associated with a variety of psychological and behavioral disorders. Previous studies have shown that unmarried men live significantly fewer years than married men and tend to have more health problems. For the specific case of the divorced 45-year-old man described in this case study and review, the authors recommend how to evaluate his complaints and plan a course of treatment based on current clinical guidelines.

"Popular perception, and many cultures as well as the media present men as tough, resilient, and less vulnerable to psychological trauma than women. However, this article serves as a warning signal not to follow such unfounded perceptions," says Ridwan Shabsigh, MD, President of the International Society of Men's Health (ISMH); Chairman, Department of Surgery, St. Barnabas Hospital (Bronx, NY); and Professor of Clinical Urology, Cornell University (New York). Dr. Shabsigh continues, "The fact is that men get affected substantially by psychological trauma and negative life events such as divorce, bankruptcy, war, and bereavement. Research is urgently needed to investigate the prevalence and impact of such effects and to develop diagnosis and treatment guidelines for practitioners."