The link between marital status and health has long been a topic of debate. [1,2,3,4]Several approaches and methods were used to assess the relationship between marital status and health, eventually forming two major schools of opinion.
One school of researchers argues that marital status affects an individual’s health status [5,6,7]far One of the pioneers studying the marital status and health debate found that marriage was a positive factor in reducing the mortality rate among individuals compared to the mortality rate among the unmarried, and introduced the hypothesis of marital security. The term “marital protection effect” refers to the positive benefits of marriage over death and disease. [6, 9, 10], It is believed to strengthen marriage, social support and wealth, and prevent risky behavior, thereby improving health. As a result, many studies have also reported that married people have lower mortality rates. [11, 12]long life expectancy [13, 14]fewer physical health problems [15, 16]are protected from the stress and depression of life [17, 18]and shorter hospital stays, fewer admissions to nursing homes, and access to better health care [19,20,21],
Conversely, other schools argue that the assumed level of health of individuals explains the lower mortality and better health outcomes of married individuals compared to other unmarried categories. [22,23,24], According to this second hypothesis, the “marriage selection theory,” healthy individuals are more likely to marry or less likely to change their marital affiliation. In addition, empirical data suggest that marriage markets exhibit positive categorical pairing, that is, the occurrence of pairings between similar individuals at a higher frequency than chance. Most of these results come from developed countries such as Sweden, USA, Serbia and other developed countries that focus on the complex relationship between marital status and health. [3, 23, 24, 26,27,28,29], Despite the long-standing association between marital status and health, studies in developing countries have refrained from further addressing the association between marital status and health by examining the more general marriage hypothesis. It is important to note that the gender element has been shown to reduce disparities in marital status and health status.
If we focus on the issue of gender, a considerable body of evidence shows that marriage offers women the same health benefits as men; The evidence comes mostly from peer countries like North America and Europe. However, evidence on whether health affects marriage or whether marriage affects health by gender is unclear. For example, Hanson et al.  A significant association between marriage and health was found only for men, and women are more likely to face poor health because of their unmarried status. At the same time, some evidence suggests that marriage is more beneficial for women. ,
SRH is noteworthy in this context because it is an important and widely used health indicator that has been shown to be an effective indicator of objective measures of health and lifestyle-related health status. [32,33,34,35,36]There is evidence that self-reported health can predict mortality risk, obesity, hypertension, and metabolism. [32, 35], In addition, the relationship between self-reported health (SRH) and marital status has been well studied. Although married people have been shown to have better SRH than single, divorced, widowed, or otherwise unmarried people, there are also mixed results on the association between marriage and self-reported health. [37,38,39]For example Fu and Noguchio  In her study, it was found that marriage affects people’s objective health by increasing their risk of developing civilization diseases, while in terms of selection effects; Better subjective health has been found to attract middle-aged and older Japanese to marriage. Another study by Hu  34 reported that the difference in health status between single and married rural women is mainly explained by marriage choice, while the difference in health status between married and widowed rural women in China is explained by marital security.
Unlike many Western countries, marriage is still almost universal in many South Asian countries. , In South Asian countries, marriage remains the cornerstone of long-term relationships, and virtually everyone marries at some point. Unmarried people are exposed to enormous social pressure to marry, which increases with age On the other hand, widowed, divorced or separated men and women face social and economic degradation. In addition, several previous studies have considered marital status as an important social determinant of health and examined different dimensions of health, particularly in light of the marriage security hypothesis. [42,43,44,45,46]However, evidence from the Asian context is lacking and much less is known from India in particular.
In India, where male dominance persists, the culture is very idealistic, patriarchal and patriarchal [47,48,49]Previous research has shown that gender inequalities in marriage and health outcomes persist [18, 20, 50,51,52,53]Also, several studies have focused on self-reported health and marital status in India. For example Pandey and Jha Using structural equation modeling (SEM), it was concluded that poor economic conditions had a mediating effect on the association between widowhood and poor self-reported health in India. Perkins et al.  found that women who were widowed for an extended period of time were more likely to suffer from mental distress and poorer self-reported health. In addition, Sudha et al.  suggested that unmarried, particularly widowed, women had poorer self-reported health than married older women, even after accounting for socioeconomic time and family time. In addition, Lloyd-Sherlock et al.  Comparing SRH status between married and widowed individuals in SAGE countries, ie China, Ghana, India, Russian Federation and South Africa, suggests that widowed women had worse SRH status than married women. Although these previous studies have provided a more comprehensive explanation for poor self-reported health in unmarried individuals than in married individuals, limited studies have attempted to assess the marriage protection and marriage selection hypothesis on SRH in India. Furthermore, little is known about the role of gender and age in these hypotheses.
Given this broader context, therefore, this study uses the Study on Global Aging and Adult Health (SAGE), 2006–07, with follow-up data from 2015, and addresses specific questions: 1. Is there protective or selective marriage and health? Relationship between We consider this topic in the context of SRH. 2. What role do gender and age play in analyzing such a hypothesis? This study contributes to the current state of knowledge in two ways. First, this study uses panel data to examine the theoretical framework of marriage in an Indian setting and provides essential empirical evidence for this area of research. The marital security hypothesis is examined by examining the effect of marriage on changes in self-reported health. The marital selection hypothesis is examined by examining health-related selection in stable and unstable marital status. Second, this study will help examine age and sex differences in marital and health relationships.