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In sickness and in health? Comorbidity in older couples

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  • Booker, Cara L.
  • Pudney, Stephen

Abstract

We investigate the nature and origin of comorbidity, defined as the tendency of members of marital couples to display correlated patterns of ill-health in later life. In the absence of long-term prospective data on couples, we use long-range recall data from the pan-European SHARELife survey and estimate a latent variable model of the health states of marital part- ners in childhood, early adulthood and late adulthood. We find strong persistence in health states and a strong comorbidity correlation, attributable almost equally to homogamy in relation to early health and common factors operating within marriage.

Suggested Citation

  • Booker, Cara L. & Pudney, Stephen, 2013. "In sickness and in health? Comorbidity in older couples," ISER Working Paper Series 2013-30, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2013-30
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    File URL: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/research/publications/working-papers/iser/2013-30.pdf
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