If you have a good marriage, you are more likely to enjoy a better quality of life and experience less pain from rheumatoid arthritis.
Research leader Jennifer Barsky Reese at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine reported that a "high-quality marriage ..seems to buffer a patient's emotional health."
Reese and her team questioned 255 adults with RA (average age of 55) about happiness in their marriage, interrogating them in such areas as finances, demonstrations of affection, sex, philosophy and interactions with in-laws.
All of this isn't surprising to psychoneuroimmunologist Nancy Klimas who asserts that you can "teach yourself to deal with pain and chronic disease." She feels that people do better with a supportive relationship. But that doesn't necessarily mean marriage--it could also mean a high-quality relationship between committed but unmarried partners.