IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Marital status and mortality in the elderly: A systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Manzoli, Lamberto
  • Villari, Paolo
  • M Pirone, Giovanni
  • Boccia, Antonio
Registered author(s):

    Although a relationship between marital status and mortality has long been recognized, no summary estimates of the strength of the association are available. A meta-analysis of cohort studies was conducted to produce an overall estimate of the excess mortality associated with being unmarried in aged individuals as well as to evaluate whether and to what degree the effect of marriage differs with respect to gender, geographical/cultural context, type of non-married condition and study methodological quality. All included studies were published after the year 1994, used multivariate analyses and were written in English. Pooling 53 independent comparisons, consisting of more than 250,000 elderly subjects, the overall relative risk (RR) for married versus non-married individuals (including widowed, divorced/separated and never married) was 0.88 (95% Confidence Interval: 0.85-0.91). This estimate did not vary by gender, study quality, or between Europe and North America. Compared to married individuals, the widowed had a RR of death of 1.11 (1.08-1.14), divorced/separated 1.16 (1.09-1.23), never married 1.11 (1.07-1.15). Although some evidence of publication bias was found, the overall estimate of the effect of marriage was robust to several statistical approaches and sensitivity analyses. When the overall meta-analysis was repeated with an extremely conservative approach and including eight non-significant comparisons, which were initially excluded because of data unavailable, the marriage protective influence remained significant, although the effect size was reduced (RR=0.94; 0.92-0.95). Despite some methodological and conceptual limitations, these findings might be important to support health care providers in identifying individuals "at risk" and could be integrated into the current programs of mortality risk estimation for the elderly.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VBF-4M0S3D6-4/2/8fa14dddbfd426f0d8ef57eb296dcbe2
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 64 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 77-94

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:64:y:2007:i:1:p:77-94
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description

    Order Information: Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional
    Web: http://www.elsevier.com/orderme/journalorderform.cws_home/315/journalorderform1/orderooc/id=654&ref=654_01_ooc_1&version=01

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:64:y:2007:i:1:p:77-94. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.