Partners of those aged 45 -54 and 55+ not only complain least about minor illness; they are least attention seeking when ill, and least likely to exaggerate symptoms of illness when feeling poorly.
Partners of over 55s came top for soldiering on with a minimum of fuss: 38 per cent of them suffering in silence, compared with 74 per cent of partners of 25 to 34 year olds who make sure everyone knows about their health issues.
Generally the over 45s age groups are least likely to suspect their partner of malingering; and least likely to think they suffer from man flu or woman flu. Not surprisingly, the over 55s come out as most sympathetic to any complaints of illness made by their partner.
Partners of over 45s are the least likely to take time off work when they feel ill, just 17.5 per cent of them doing so.
Are they a hardier bunch?
Not necessarily. With seven incidences of genuine illness a year, second only to partners of under 17s, spouses of over 55s have their fair share of ill health it seems.
Thankfully, when illness does strike, they can rely on some sympathy. The over 55s also came out top for being prepared to wait on their partner hand and foot, but were least likely to expect the same level of devotion in return.
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