IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/socmed/v275y2021ics0277953621001404.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Marital loss and risk of dementia: Do race and gender matter?

Author

Listed:
  • Zhang, Zhenmei
  • Liu, Hui
  • Choi, Seung-won Emily

Abstract

Recent studies have found that marital loss through divorce or widowhood is associated with a higher risk of dementia for older adults. However, whether these associations vary by race and gender is less clear. To address this gap, we drew upon longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study (2000–2016) to investigate the association between marital loss and dementia risk, separately for non-Hispanic Whites and non-Hispanic Blacks. We further examined gender variations in the link between marital loss and dementia risk within each racial group. Results from discrete-time event history models suggested that widowhood is significantly associated with a higher risk of dementia for both Whites and Blacks, controlling for basic demographic characteristics. However, while divorce is significantly associated with a higher risk of dementia for Blacks, the association is marginally significant (p < 0.1) for Whites. There are few significant gender variations in these associations except for the effect of divorce among Whites. Even after controlling for economic and health-related factors, we found that divorce is associated with a higher risk of dementia among White men but not among White women. Economic resources explain a significant portion of the association between widowhood and dementia risk, more so for Whites than for Blacks. Our findings call for more research into the pathways through which marital loss shapes the risk of dementia across racial and ethnic groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhang, Zhenmei & Liu, Hui & Choi, Seung-won Emily, 2021. "Marital loss and risk of dementia: Do race and gender matter?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 275(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:275:y:2021:i:c:s0277953621001404
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.113808
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953621001404
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.113808?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hui Liu & Zhenmei Zhang & Seung-won Choi & Kenneth M Langa & Deborah Carr, 2020. "Marital Status and Dementia: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 75(8), pages 1783-1795.
    2. Michael Rendall & Margaret Weden & Melissa Favreault & Hilary Waldron, 2011. "The Protective Effect of Marriage for Survival: A Review and Update," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(2), pages 481-506, May.
    3. Hui Liu & Zhenmei Zhang, 2013. "Disability Trends by Marital Status Among Older Americans, 1997–2010: An Examination by Gender and Race," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 32(1), pages 103-127, February.
    4. Kristine J. Ajrouch & Toni C. Antonucci & Mary R. Janevic, 2001. "Social Networks Among Blacks and Whites," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 56(2), pages 112-118.
    5. Gary R. Lee & Alfred DeMaris & Stefoni Bavin & Rachel Sullivan, 2001. "Gender Differences in the Depressive Effect of Widowhood in Later Life," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 56(1), pages 56-61.
    6. Mateo P FarinaMA & Mark D HaywardPhD & Jung Ki KimPhD & Eileen M CrimminsPhD & J Scott BrownPhD, 2020. "Racial and Educational Disparities in Dementia and Dementia-Free Life Expectancy," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 75(7), pages 105-112.
    7. Eileen M. Crimmins & Jung Ki Kim & Kenneth M. Langa & David R. Weir, 2011. "Assessment of Cognition Using Surveys and Neuropsychological Assessment: The Health and Retirement Study and the Aging, Demographics, and Memory Study," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 66(suppl_1), pages 162-171.
    8. Thomas Leopold & Matthijs Kalmijn, 2016. "Is Divorce More Painful When Couples Have Children? Evidence From Long-Term Panel Data on Multiple Domains of Well-being," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(6), pages 1717-1742, December.
    9. Debra Umberson & Rachel Donnelly & Minle Xu & Matthew Farina & Michael A Garcia & Deborah Carr, 2020. "Death of a Child Prior to Midlife, Dementia Risk, and Racial Disparities," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 75(9), pages 1983-1995.
    10. Liu, Hui, 2012. "Marital dissolution and self-rated health: Age trajectories and birth cohort variations," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(7), pages 1107-1116.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Journal round-up: Social Science & Medicine 275
      by Will Sullivan in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2021-05-10 06:00:13

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Kenneth Couch & Christopher Tamborini & Gayle Reznik, 2015. "The Long-Term Health Implications of Marital Disruption: Divorce, Work Limits, and Social Security Disability Benefits Among Men," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(5), pages 1487-1512, October.
    2. Johannes Schuenemann & Holger Strulik & Timo Trimborn, 2020. "The Marriage Gap: Optimal Aging and Death in Partnerships," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 36, pages 158-176, April.
    3. Ning Hsieh & Hui Liu, 2019. "Bisexuality, Union Status, and Gender Composition of the Couple: Reexamining Marital Advantage in Health," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 56(5), pages 1791-1825, October.
    4. Stroebe, Margaret Susan & Folkman, Susan & Hansson, Robert O. & Schut, Henk, 2006. "The prediction of bereavement outcome: Development of an integrative risk factor framework," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(9), pages 2440-2451, November.
    5. Newton, Nicky J. & Ryan, Lindsay H. & King, Rachel T. & Smith, Jacqui, 2014. "Cohort differences in the marriage–health relationship for midlife women," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 64-72.
    6. McCluney, Courtney L. & Schmitz, Lauren L. & Hicken, Margaret T. & Sonnega, Amanda, 2018. "Structural racism in the workplace: Does perception matter for health inequalities?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 199(C), pages 106-114.
    7. Jean-Paul Azam & Elodie Djemai, 2019. "Matching, Cooperation and HIV in the Couple," Working Papers DT/2019/02, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    8. Espinosa, Javier & Evans, William N., 2008. "Heightened mortality after the death of a spouse: Marriage protection or marriage selection?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1326-1342, September.
    9. Davillas, Apostolos & Pudney, Stephen, 2020. "Biomarkers, disability and health care demand," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C).
    10. Kung, Claryn S.J., 2020. "Health in widowhood: The roles of social capital and economic resources," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 253(C).
    11. Pilar Zueras & Roberta Rutigliano & Sergi Trias-Llimós, 0. "Marital status, living arrangements, and mortality in middle and older age in Europe," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 0, pages 1-10.
    12. Glenn Sandström & Fredinah Namatovu & Jens Ineland & Daniel Larsson & Nawi Ng & Mikael Stattin, 2021. "The Persistence of High Levels of Living Alone Among Adults with Disabilities in Sweden, 1993–2011," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 40(2), pages 163-185, April.
    13. Nicolas Sirven, 2012. "On the Socio-Economic Determinants of Frailty: Findings from Panel and Retrospective Data from SHARE," Working Papers DT52, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Dec 2012.
    14. Yan-Liang Yu & Zhenmei Zhang, 2017. "Interracial Marriage and Self-Reported Health of Whites and Blacks in the United States," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 36(6), pages 851-870, December.
    15. Rong Fu & Haruko Noguchi, 2018. "Does the positive relationship between health and marriage reflect protection or selection? Evidence from middle-aged and elderly Japanese," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 1003-1016, December.
    16. Bina Knöpfli & Stéphane Cullati & Delphine S. Courvoisier & Claudine Burton-Jeangros & Pasqualina Perrig-Chiello, 2016. "Marital breakup in later adulthood and self-rated health: a cross-sectional survey in Switzerland," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 61(3), pages 357-366, April.
    17. Wilson, Sven E., 2012. "Marriage, gender and obesity in later life," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 431-453.
    18. Péter Hudomiet & Robert J. Willis, 2013. "Estimating Second Order Probability Beliefs from Subjective Survival Data," Decision Analysis, INFORMS, vol. 10(2), pages 152-170, June.
    19. Berntsen, Kjersti Norgård & Kravdal, Øystein, 2012. "The relationship between mortality and time since divorce, widowhood or remarriage in Norway," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(12), pages 2267-2274.
    20. Tosi, Marco & van den Broek, Thijs, 2020. "Gray divorce and mental health in the United Kingdom," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 256(C).

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:275:y:2021:i:c:s0277953621001404. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.