Age-dependency in mortality of family caregivers : a nationwide register-based study
Mikkola, T. M., Kautiainen, H., Mänty, M., von Bonsdorff, M. B., Kröger, T., & Eriksson, J. G. (2021). Age-dependency in mortality of family caregivers : a nationwide register-based study. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 33(7), 1971-1980. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40520-020-01728-4
Published inAging Clinical and Experimental Research
DisciplineIkääntymisen ja hoivan tutkimuksen huippuyksikköGerontologia ja kansanterveysYhteiskuntapolitiikkaCentre of Excellence in Research on Ageing and CareGerontology and Public HealthSocial and Public Policy
© The Author(s) 2020
Background: Evidence on family caregivers' health is conflicting. Aim: To investigate all-cause and cause-specific mortality in Finnish family caregivers providing high-intensity care and to assess whether age modifies the association between family caregiver status and mortality using data from multiple national registers. Methods: The data include all individuals, who received family caregiver's allowance in Finland in 2012 (n = 42,256, mean age 67 years, 71% women) and a control population matched for age, sex, and municipality of residence (n = 83,618). Information on dates and causes of death between 2012 and 2017 were obtained from the Finnish Causes of Death Register. Results: Family caregivers had lower all-cause mortality than the controls over the follow-up (8.1 vs. 11.6%) both among women (socioeconomic status adjusted hazard ratio [HR]: 0.64, 95% CI 0.61-0.68) and men (adjusted HR: 0.73, 95% CI 0.70-0.77). When modelling all-cause mortality as a function of age, younger caregivers had only slightly lower or equal mortality to their controls, but older caregivers had markedly lower mortality than their controls, up to more than 10% lower. Caregivers had a lower mortality rate for all the causes of death studied, namely cardiovascular, cancer, neurological, external, respiratory, gastrointestinal and dementia. The lowest risk was for dementia (subhazard ratio = 0.29, 95% CI 0.25-0.34). Conclusions: Older family caregivers had lower mortality than the age-matched general population while mortality did not differ according to caregiver status in young adulthood. This age-dependent advantage in mortality is likely to reflect the selection of healthier individuals into the family caregiver role. ...
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Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Centre of Excellence, AoF
Additional information about fundingOpen access funding provided by University of Helsinki including Helsinki University Central Hospital. This work was supported by Samfundet Folkhälsan, Medicinska Understödsföreningen Liv och Hälsa r.f. and Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation.
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