The Checkup: Divorce Is As Deadly as Smoking

Divorced people have a higher risk of early death than their married peers.

• How about this for a new PSA: “Divorce: It kills.” Dramatic, yes, but not entirely untrue. The findings of a new study aptly titled “Divorce and Death” found that divorcées face a 23 percent greater risk of early death than married people—a death rate on par with smokers, heavy drinkers and the obese. What’s more, divorced men are at a higher risk for an untimely demise than their ex-wives. “Why?,” asks MSN. “Because wives help keep their husbands alive.” They’re completely serious! (I mean, of course they are. Why shouldn’t the be? Every wife knows it’s true.)

• Thinking about those two runners who died of heart attacks at last year’s Philly Marathon still makes me super sad. But this is heartening: a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the risk for cardiac arrest from distance races is pretty  low—lower, in fact, than the risk for heart attacks among college athletes, and comparable to heart attack risks for recreational joggers. In other words, long-distance running is no more or less dangerous for your heart than other forms of vigorous physical activity. Runner’s World has more details.

• Well, geez. Women’s Health ranked Philly among the least-healthy cities for women. On the annual list of the country’s 100 healthiest cities—determined by things like obesity and breast cancer rates, commuting times and hours spent workout out—we’re waaaay down there near the bottom, at #97, beating out only Detroit, Memphis and Birmingham. Topping the list is Raleigh, North Carolina, followed by San Jose, California, and Madison, Wisconsin (even with all that cheese!). You can get the whole list here, but you have to enter an email address to access it.