A study at Germany's Max Planck Institute revealed the chances of a man dying early is cut by a fifth if he's married to a woman between 15 to 17 years their junior.

The study examined deaths between 1990 and 2005 of the entire population of Denmark.

Men were found to lessen their risk of premature death by 11 per cent if they marry a woman seven to nine years younger than themselves. The study also showed that men who married older women were more likely to die early.

However, women don't share this same benefit as men do. It's instead, the contrary, and women seem to lose both ways. Wives with husbands older or younger by between seven and nine years actually increase their chances of dying early by 20 per cent - which means it raises to 30 per cent if the age gap is close to 15 and 17 years.

Researchers gather the figures for men might be the result of natural factors - as only the healthy and most successful older men can attract younger women. "Another theory is that a younger woman will care for a man better and therefore he will live longer," institute spokesman Sven Drefahl said.

[via Telegraph]